A Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) – a Golden or Shaanxi takin, to be exact (B. taxicolor bedfordi).
Takins are odd animals. To me, they look like a breeding experiment gone wrong. Partly sheep-like, partly cattle, and of the altogether wrong size for both groups – no wonder taxonomists had trouble with them! Some people apparently think they look like muskox (at least that’s what wikipedia suggests, but I don’t really see too much similarity. Mitochondrial DNA says they are closest to sheep, and if you take a good long look at the picture below you can really see the similarity.
This is how you will normally experience takins (again a Shaanxi takin) in the Tierpark Friedrichsfelde: lazing around. OK, they are ruminants, so it is somewhat understandable. However, they are the least-moving large mammals I have ever seen!
This is a Sihuan takin (B. taxicolor tibetana). Not moving, again……
Holy cow… erh, takin! What’s that? Moving around? Playing with the branches? Even running around a bit (last pic)? What got into these Sichuan takins? Oh, right – it was a rainy day in the zoo!
And the third subspecies, the Mishmi takin (B. taxicolor taxicolor). According to the Tierpark that’s all there is, whereas wikipedia knows a fourth subspecies, the , the Bhutan Takin (B. taxicolor whitei). Well, if I had three subspecies in my zoo of these really rare animals I’d claim that’s all there is, too!
And what do Mishmi takins do al day?