Handsome Takin Calf Is a First for Swedish Zoo
March 15, 2017
A Mishmi Takin calf, named Nanook, was born on February 19th at Kolmården Wildlife Park. Mother to the handsome male calf is Aisha, and his father is Hobbit.
Nanook is the first successful Takin birth for the Swedish zoo. He was born in the early morning of a cold, snowy day. The name Nanook was chosen by the keepers, in honor of his day of birth, and means ‘polar bear’ in Inuit. At birth, Nanook weighed-in at a healthy 7 kilos.
Kolmården staff reported, “We are very happy that Aisha, first time mum, has taken such good care of Nanook. It’s a break through for us, and the Takin breeding, here in Kolmården. Nanook is a much welcomed addition to our Takin group and the European population.”
Photo Credits: Kolmården Wildlife Park
Thanks to the zookeeper’s excellent training with Takins, they were able to do a check of Nanook soon after his birth. The calf is considered healthy and is growing.
The new Takin calf is an important part of the EAZA European Studbook breeding programme for Mishmi Takins. Takins are currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. Populations in the wild are threatened and decreasing due to hunting and deforestation.
The Mishmi Takin (Budorcas taxicolor taxicolor) is an endangered goat antelope native to India, Myanmar and the People's Republic of China. It is a subspecies of Takin.
The Mishmi Takin is native to southern China and eats bamboo and willow shoots. It has an oily coat to protect it from the fog.
Takin are found in small family groups of around 20 individuals, although older males may lead more solitary existences. In the summer, herds of up to 300 may gather high on mountain slopes.
In the wild, mating generally takes place in July and August. Usually, a single young is born after a gestation period of around eight months.
Takin tend to migrate from upper pastures to lower, more forested areas in winter and favor sunny spots. When disturbed, individuals give a 'cough' as an alarm call, and the herd retreats into thick bamboo thickets and lies on the ground for camouflage.