A baby of a rare Sichuan takin born in the Moscow Zoo

March 31
Culture

A baby Sichuan takin was born in the Moscow Zoo. This species is listed in the International Red Book as being on the brink of extinction. The number of takins in the wild is steadily decreasing. Takins, especially the Sichuan subspecies, are rarely kept in European zoos.

The kid’s parents are a three-year-old male Doni and a four-year-old female Xia. Since this was Xia's first pregnancy, zoologists were worried about how she would treat the baby. But her maternal instinct immediately kicked in: after giving birth, the mother licked the kid and since then has been following his every step. At birth, the weight of a little takin was nine kilograms, now he has reached 20 kilos.

The kid began to walk independently around the enclosure within a few days after its birth. It willingly studies the world around, but tries to stay close to its mother and hides behind her at any suspicious noises. Zoologists examined the kid and made sure that it was healthy. They haven't come up with a name for him yet, waiting for the takin to show itself in some way, so that the animal's name could reflect its character.

The kid still feeds on its mother's milk, although it sometimes tastes adult food. The diet of Sichuan takins of the Moscow Zoo includes green branches, alfalfa, and combined feed. Fresh grass is added to their menu in summer, and hay in winter. The animals' favorite food is granola. The kid will switch to the diet of its relatives by the age of six months.

It will reach adult weight only by the age of three. Males usually weigh between 300 and 350 kilograms.

This rare species lives in the enclosure “The Ungulates of Asia” on the territory of the old zoo. However, the mother and the kid are still hiding in a secluded corner of the enclosure. They will go out into the open part of the dwelling when the newborn is strong and ready to meet with visitors. This is expected to happen in June.

“Sichuan takins first appeared in the zoo in 2009. Since then, zoologists have managed to create comfortable conditions for them and achieve regular breeding. Our family of these rare ungulates has become the most numerous in Russia. New kids are born every year. When they are three years old, we send them to other leading zoos in Russia or Europe. Thus, the descendants of the Moscow zoo help to create a reserve population of endangered animals around the world”, the press service of the Moscow Zoo said.

Today, visitors of the main exhibition of the zoo can see five takins: two females and two males, as well as one newborn. Another breeding pair with kids lives in the Center for the Reproduction of rare species of animals near Volokolamsk.

In the wild, takins can be found in the mountainous regions of India, Tibet, Nepal and China. The range of the Sichuan subspecies is limited to the Chinese province of Sichuan. The population of these rare animals is declining due to the destruction of their natural habitat.

Takins belong to the family of semi-horned artiodactyls. They are relatives of goats and rams, but built more like bulls with a massive body, a large head with a wide muzzle and powerful short legs. Both males and females have horns. Takins can boast of a long, thick coat, its color in different individuals varying from golden to reddish and even gray-red. Their coat richly oiled with skin fat protects the takins from the high humidity and fogs of the Asian mountain forests.

Takins prefer to live in groups in hard-to-reach places; it is easier for them to protect themselves from predators. Takins are quite shy. They usually hide in the thicket during the day and go out in search of food only in the evening. Takins live 12-15 years in the wilderness, but in captivity they can live up to 20 years.

In 2020, rare Amur tigers, three-striped night monkey, great cormorants, curly pelicans, maned wolves and Humboldt penguins were born in the Moscow zoo. The species with newborns also include the red-book ring-tailed lemur, the black stork, the slender-tailed cloud rat, and the hornbill. Pink and red flamingos, rare Trimeresurus, royal pythons, white-tailed eagles and lion-tailed macaque also had babies.

Source: mos.ru

Share
If you continue to use our website, you are agreeing to accept the use of cookies on your device. Cookie files ensure the website’s efficiency and help us provide you with the most interesting and relevant information. Read more about cookie files.
Accept ccokies