Moscow Zoo visitors will have a unique chance to see a Sichuan takin couple with multiple offspring. In February, the couple gave birth to their sixth kid, outstripping all other members of this rare species inhabiting Russian zoos. The fertile couple was brought from Beijing in 2009.
According to the zoo’s press serve, the mother takin is pouring her love and care on her newborn. The baby, now hardly more than a week old, is staying by her side, suckling milk. By the summer, the kid will start feeding on moss, bark and bamboo leaves.
“The takin baby is keeping to its mother as it can hardly walk yet. Visitors can see the entire family in the new area of the zoo,” the press service said.
The newborn’s gender can be determined a couple of weeks after birth.
The takin is an even-toed ox-like species with a large broad-faced head and crescent horns. Adult animals weigh up to 350 kilograms and have beautiful thick hair of a golden, reddish or reddish-grey shade, depending on their subspecies. For example, the colouration of the Sichuan takin ranges from a lighter shade on the front side of their body to a dark brown at the back. As they are on the brink of extinction in the wild, they have been included in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Sichuan takins live in remote mountain areas of India, Tibet, Nepal and China, and in the eastern Himalayas.
Takins can run fast but stop dead when frightened, a rather unusual behaviour not typical of hoofed animals, the zoo’s press service explained. Instead of running away, a frightened takin lies down, pulls out its neck and clings to the ground.
Also, in the middle of February, pink pelican and Dalmatian pelican chicks hatched at the Moscow Zoo. You can see them at the Birds and Butterflies pavilion in the new area.