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Reader's Digest World Presents The Living Edens Bhutan, The last Shangri-la
Lammergeir Vulture
Snow Leopard
Red Panda
Black Crane
Golden Langurs
Asiatic Buffalo
Red Fox
Black Bear
Musk Deer
Takin Takin
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.

Adult takins 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 Takinrhododendrons. 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.


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