Tiny Takin Twosome Named at Lincoln Park Zoo

Tak duo 1

Not just one, but two baby Sichuan Takins have been born at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, arriving on January 31 and February 9 respectively. Both are males. Just yesterday it was announced that the babies have been named Xing Fu, meaning happy good fortune, and Mengyao, meaning superior handsomeness! Last week Lincoln Park Zoo's animal care experts picked six Mandarin names to honor the species’ roots, and put them out for a public vote.

The species is native to China and surrounding mountain ranges, where they graze on shrubs and grasses. They’re Vulnerable in the wild, a consequence of hunting and habitat loss. Lincoln Park Zoo manages the species in partnership with other zoos through the Sichuan Takin Species Survival Plan (SSP)®, a shared conservation effort managed by the Zoo’s general curator, Dave Bernier.

Tak duo w mom

Tak solo

Tak fam
Photo Credit: Lincoln Park Zoo

The addition of these two babies brings the Zoo’s Sichuan Takin herd  to five animals, along with their father, Quanli, who arrived from Montgomery Zoo in 2011 as part of an SSP breeding recommendation, and both moms, Jinse and Mei Li, a first-time mom who was born at the zoo herself in 2007. The herd will be on exhibit in the Antelope & Zebra area from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. for the next couple weeks as they adjust to life with the little ones. 

Watch this video of the little ones leaping and pushing around a ball:

Takin Baby Arrives in the Early Morning at the San Diego Zoo


Visitors at the San Diego Zoo were in for a surprise this past Saturday when they were unexpectedly greeted by the zoo's newest inhabitant, a newborn Takin. The baby boy, born sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 AM on February 2nd, was quick to its feet as mother Summer immediately started work on cleaning her new son off. While this was not Summer's first child, it was the first for his father Lian. Summer's grown daughter Mei Long was also there to help her mother care for her new half brother. These photos, taken less than an hour and a half after the birth, document some the intimate first hours of this newborn's life.


Photo Credits: Rita Petita

Takins, closely related to the Sheep, are native to China and the eastern Himalayas. They have many specialized adaptations to cope with this cold environment such as a secondary coat of fur and a special nasal cavity that helps warm up the cold air they breath in. As herbivores, Takin eat essentially any vegetation that they come across including tough leaves, bark and bamboo. Although they are considered national treasures in their native China, Takin are still facing a declining population, primarily due to habitat loss. This has led to their classification as an endangered species by the IUCN. 

See more photos after the fold.

Continue reading "Takin Baby Arrives in the Early Morning at the San Diego Zoo" »

Meet Hobbit, Highland Wildlife Park's Newborn Takin


The Mishmi Takin herd at the UK's Highland Wildlife Park has welcomed a newborn male calf called Hobbit. Born early in July to doting mum Cava and indifferent dad Raci, this Mishmi Takin is the first calf to be reared in the Highland herd since 2010.  Hobbit by name, hobbit in size - this youngster is easy to spot due to the size difference between him and the adults and his 2 year old siblings. He also has a white band of hair across his forehead where his horns will eventually be. At just 20 days old, Hobbit is still staying quite close to mum Cava, but has more recently been exploring the enclosure solo. Amazingly takin calves can follow their mums just one day after birth over a whole host of different terrain.

Due to their size and muscular strength the only predators for these feisty animals are tigers, leopards and possibly bears, although they now find themselves under threat in the wild due to hunting for meat, the traditional medicine trade and habitat loss.

Douglas Richardson, animal collection manager at the Highland Wildlife Park, said, "Because of their size and slightly bizarre appearance, the takin are fairly popular with our visitors, in part because most people cannot quite figure out what they are. From a conservation perspective, the Mishmi takin is listed as Endangered and the European breeding program, which is managed by staff from the Highland Wildlife Park, may be of increasing importance given the pressures upon the wild population."


Photo Credit: Alex Riddell

Continue reading "Meet Hobbit, Highland Wildlife Park's Newborn Takin" »

Baby Takin Is King of the Hill at San Diego Zoo

Baby Takin is king of the hill at San Diego Zoo

A two-week-old Sichuan Takin climbs to the highest point in his exhibit on Wednesday. The kid, who was born on Dec. 28, 2010, was named Wûshi, which means 50 in Mandarin, because he is the 50th Takin to call the San Diego Zoo home. The first Sichuan Takin born outside of China was born at the San Diego Zoo in 1989. When Wûshi is not climbing rocks and tree stumps, he can be found head butting just about anything in his enclosure–including his grandmother, Bea.

Baby Takin San Diego Zoo giving a side smile

Baby Takin up close and personal at San Diego ZooPhoto credits: San Diego Zoo

Read and see more below the fold...

Continue reading "Baby Takin Is King of the Hill at San Diego Zoo" »

What's a Takin?

We here at ZooBorns have been waiting for great shots of a baby takin to share with you for quite some time and we are happy to say that the LA Zoo has delivered! On July 3rd they welcomed a baby female takin, a type of goat-antelope, like the serow we featured last week. The takin share their mountainous habitat with the giant panda and both are protected by the Chinese government.

Dad and baby have a moment

Baby Takin with Dad LA Zoo

Mom looks proud

Sichuan Takin LA Zoo 

Sichuan Takin

Continue reading "What's a Takin?" »