Takin - Budorcas taxicolor: a gazelle-like ox

Takin in the Wolong Nature Reserve Choushuigou, Sichuan Province, China  rel=
Takin in the Wolong Nature Reserve Choushuigou, Sichuan Province, China
© WWF / Donald G. REID
Much less well-known but certainly very impressive looking is the Takin which a beautiful golden-haired ox with a big, broad nose.

“Takins can weigh several hundred kilograms,” says Li Ning, “and they are very big and strong. And they are very beautiful, I have to say. When you see one with the sun shining on its golden hair and it’s standing there like a General, you cannot describe how powerful it looks!”

Takins usually live in groups and feed on the woody plants and bamboos of Qinling’s mountain forests. But sadly, a lot of poachers still hunt them for their meat. “They know the takin is endangered and therefore a protected species,” says Li Ning, “ but still, people set snares and traps to kill them and sell their meat, which is very, very sad.”

Size The takin is between 170-220 cms long and its shoulder height is 100-130 cms. Heavily built, a takin can weigh up to 350 kg.
Colour Takins have golden-yellow hair. 
Where ...and live in high mountain forests. 
Diet Takins eat grasses, leaves, buds and shoots, including bamboo.
Breeding Mating occurs in July and August and the  female produces 1 calf after about 8-9 months  gestation. 
Behaviour Groups can vary from 5 to over 100 individuals, although old males are solitary. Takin make an alarm call resembling a  'cough'. 
Interesting fact Some people believe that the mythological 'golden fleece' sought by the Argonauts of  Ancient Greece came from the Takin. 

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