The Takin’s unique characteristics make it unlike any other animal


The Takin is a one of its kind animal. Due to its uniqueness and lack of relationship with other animals, the Takin has been a bit of a hassle for taxonomists. Since the animal is so unique, it has been given a dedicated category for itself – Budorcas Taxicolor.

Myth and folklore

The Takin is closely interwoven with Bhutan’s mythology and religious history. When lama Drukpa Kunley – the divine madman visited Bhutan in the 15th century, his followers congregated before him and asked the divine man to perform a miracle. In his usual outrageous ways, he demanded a sumptuous meal of a whole goat and cow.

After he finished eating, and nothing more than the bones of the animals were left, he put the head of the goat and the bones of the cow together and commanded the animal to rise. Sure enough, the strange looking creature rose and started grazing in the meadows nearby.

The animal came to be known as Dong Gyem Tsey (Takin) and can be seen in the meadows of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.

Habitat, conservation status and food habits

Due to habitat destruction and killing for meat, the Takin is an endangered species.

To preserve and protect the animals, the Bhutanese government has created a Takin preserve on the outskirts of Thimpu where this animal can be seen.

Besides the preserve, the Takin are found at elevations of 1000 to 45oo meters in bamboo forests. They’re primarily vegetarian and eat grass, leaves and buds. In addition to their veggie diet, they require great mineral intake. Takins are known to travel great distances for their mineral intake.

Pictures of the Takin from the GoMissing wildlife archives…

Baby Takin

Baby Takin

Adult Takin

Adult Takin with golden fur

A fully grown animal has golden fur and blackish fur on the underbelly.

An unexplained behavior has been observed in Takins. The animal sometimes sprays its under body with urine for reasons unknown.