The takin is the national animal of Bhutan. The animal is associated with religious history and mythology. It belongs to the caprinae subfamily, and it is the largest and stockiest of the subfamily. Bhutan’s national animal, the takin, is a muscular animal with highly developed fur. They are strong, unique and distinct, perhaps making them be considered as the national animal of Bhutan.
These animals are mostly found in forested valleys and rocky, grass-covered alpine zones. The total population of the takins is about 5069 in the wild (Forestry Bureau of Shaanxi Province, 2001). Apart from being the national animal, it is also considered as the national animal symbol of Bhutan.
Facts about the National Animal of Bhutan (Takin)
- Common name: Takin
- Scientific name: Budorcas taxicolor
- Habitat: Forested valleys and alpine zones
- Diet: Herbivores
- Average weight: 200kgs
- Main threats: deforestation, hunting and habitat fragmentation
- Gestation period: 7-8 months.
- Average height: 97-140cm
Takin is a very rare mammal with a thick neck and short muscular neck. They have a long shaggy coat with a dark stripe along the back. It secretes an oily, strong-smelling substance over its entire body. There are four subspecies of the takin which shows variation in coat color. Unlike female takins, the male ones have dark faces which makes it possible for researchers to differentiate them. They live in small groups of about 20 members but older male takins like living a solitary life. They are considered as an endangered species due to overhunting and destruction of their habitat. Human beings consider the meat of the takin to be so delicious thus the reason for hunting them. Humans also hunt them to keep them as pets.
It is especially the unique features and the fact that most Bhutan citizens love the takin as pets and for its meat that makes it to be considered the national symbol of Bhutan.