(Budorcas taxicolor)




Facts about this animal

The Takin is a heavily-built, deep-chested, ox-like animal with shaggy coat, stout limbs with larger lateral hooved (dewclaws), convex facial profile, hairy muzzle, and fairly massive black horns. Coat colour is varying from orange-yellow through straw brown to blackish brown. It has a dark strip along the back. Both sexes have horns; they almost touch at the base and are up to 63.5 cm long. Head-body length is 100-237 cm, shoulder hight is 68 - 140 cm. It weighs from 150 to 400 kg. There's no marked sexual dimorphism, but males are generally larger and heavier than females, with lighter coloured coats and longer horns.

Did you know?
that some believe that the Golden Fleece of the Greek mythology (Argonautica saga) was the skin of a takin? There are indeed various interpretations of the Golden Fleece: For example, it has been suggested that the story of the Golden Fleece signified the bringing of sheep husbandry to Greece from the east, that it refers to golden grain, or to the sun, or that it relates to a method of collecting gold from streams in the Caucasus by means of sheep skins.


Name (Scientific) Budorcas taxicolor
Name (English) Takin
Name (French) Takin
Name (German) Takin
Name (Spanish) Takin
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Vladimír Motyčka



Range Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar?
Habitat Typically associated with dense thickets of tropical evergreen forest between 2'500 - 3'700 m, but in summer ranges above the treeline into alpine regions.
Wild population Populations are suffering from over-hunting, tourism and habitat destruction. Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi was estimated to number about 1200 specimens in 1990. Declining.
Zoo population 152 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo



How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 73 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Trisha Shears

Why do zoos keep this animal

The takin is taxonomically close to the musk ox but looks different from any other ungulate. Displaying takins to the public is therefore of educational interest.

The takin is also rated vulneabrle by IUCN, and zoos undertake some efforts - there is one regional coordinated breeding programme to maintain viable ex situ populations.