The takin's nearest relative is the arctic musk ox, but this bizarre looking creature
seems to have been and assembled from a variety of zoological sources.
have no natural predators except perhaps the pack hunting dhole (Asia's wild dog), and
most are born to live life calmly, not to lose it. The takin prefers rugged mountains
above 4,000 feet, where it leads a shadowed life in forest, thickets and dense bamboo.
Females and their offspring tend to spend most of the year high on forested slopes.
Interestingly, animals repeatedly use same path through thicket on regular visits to salt
licks and grazing areas.
Takins are very distinctive dark brown or golden, massive creatures that stand 50
inches high, have short wildebeest-like horns, humped shoulders, and large, moose-like
faces. Males may weigh up to 1,400 pounds, while females weigh a third less. These massive
creature travel range from Bhutan eastward along the slopes of the Himalaya to Burma and
into China. In addition, takins migrate seasonally, moving from Alpine areas in summer to
forested valleys (bamboo and rhododendron) in winter. As many as 300 takin have been seen
congregating to drink. While they spend most of the day resting, takins use the early
morning and late afternoon for eating. As it turns out, they will eat just about any
plant, including the leathery leaves of evergreen rhododendrons. Rearing up, a takin can balance on its hind legs to
nip off branch tips 8 feet above ground. Or, less delicately, it may prop its forelegs or
just its chest against a tree trunk and then lean forward until the trunk snaps.