2006 News Releases
Rare Takin makes his debut
WINNIPEG December 27, 2006 - A male Sichuan Takin is now on display at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. One of the world's rarest and strangest-looking members of the cattle family, it looks like a cross between a Muskox, Moose and Wildebeest. A male Takin may reach a weight of 400 kg (882 lbs), and is armed with an impressive 64-cm set of back-sweeping horns. Standing on its hind legs, it can reach a height of almost 3 metres to browse on trees. The Takin's golden shaggy coat was likely the source of the magical 'Golden Fleece' noted in the ancient Greek legend of Jason and the Argonauts.
Like the Giant Panda, the Takin is native to the pine-bamboo-rhododendron forests in the mountains (to 4500 m) in western China, Nepal, Assam, Bhutan, and Myanmar. This species was first exhibited in North America in 1987 at the San Diego Zoo, as a special gift from the People's Republic of China, where it is regarded as a national treasure and receives full protection.
The Assiniboine Park Zoo has been selected to receive a captive-born pair from the Minnesota Zoo as part of a special breeding program to help save this endangered species (Only 5000 of this race survive in the wild.). A female Takin is expected to arrive next year.
* Top of Page