The Himalayan takin, aka goat antelope, cattle chamois, or gnu goat, is a sheep relative that hails from Bhutan, China, India, and Myanmar. There are 4 subspecies of takins: Mishmi, Shaanxi or golden, Tibetan or Sichuan, and Bhutan. They prefer forested valleys and rocky, grass-covered alpine regions. These creatures are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, due to habitat loss.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Budorcas taxicolor
Weight: Up to 770 lbs.
Length: Up to 7.3 feet
Height: Up to 4.5 feet
Lifespan: Up to 20 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) These beasts graze on a wide variety of vegetation, making them herbivores. They even eat bamboo and rhododendrons.
3.) If danger is present, takins will alert the others with a loud cough that sends the other takins running for cover. They also make a loud bellow or roar. This is done while their mouths are opened and their tongues are sticking out.
4.) Takins tend to be a bit aggressive.
5.) They emit an odor that smells like a combination of musk and horse.
But wait, there’s more on the Himalayan takin!
6.) Their skin secretes an oily, nasty-tasting substance that acts as a kind of raincoat to protect them from the elements.
7.) Males and females both have horns.
Did you know…?
A Himalayan takin’s horns can reach nearly 3 feet long.
8.) Reaching vegetation sometimes means that they need to stand on their hind legs and prop their legs up on a tree.
9.) Like cows, they are ruminants. That means their food goes into their rumen and into the 1st stomach and then the large pieces pass into the 2nd stomach. Then it comes back up into their mouth as cud which they then chew all over again and re-swallow. Yummy.
10.) They can be spotted in herds of up to 300.
But wait, there’s still more on the Himalayan takin!
11.) In order to provide certain nutrients and perhaps neutralize toxic plants, a takin will sometimes even eat soil.
Did you know…?
The Sichuan takin is considered to be a national treasure in China.
12.) Females give birth to a single calf each breeding season.
13.) Takins migrate from 4,000 to 14,000 feet elevations in search of food.
14.) The legend of Jason and the Golden Fleece is thought to have been inspired by the blonde coat of the takin.
15.) Like dogs, they rest their head on top of their extended front feet when sleeping.
Now a Short Himalayan Takin Video!
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