This is the first time that a takin calf was born in Hungary.
These strange-looking ungulates seem to be bovine animals but according to the genetic analyses they belong to the subfamily Caprine.
Takins live in diverse habitats in the Eastern region of the Himalaya, in India, Myanmar, China and Bhutan. Four subspecies is distinguished on the basis of external appearance and their habitat.
They are a real curiosity in the zoo because there are only 400 of them exhibited all over the world of which 4 live in Nyíregyháza.
Out of the four takin types, Mishmi takins (Budorcas taxicolor taxicolor) are living in Nyíregyháza. These animals are native to the Arunachal Pradesh State of India, the northern part of Myanmar, South Eastern part of Tibet and North Western part of China’s Yunnan province. Their population is estimated to be not more than 3500 animals. The takin bull of Nyíregyháza Zoo arrived from Germany in 2009 within the framework of the European Studbooks Program. The females came from France in 2014.
The takin calf was born on April after a 220 days long pregnancy. He was able to stand on its legs after a few hours. The young bull is nursed by its mother more times a day until he will be 9 months old. The birth of this calf is a real professional sensation because no specimen of this species was ever born in Hungary.
Matured animals have big head with the special characteristics of a curved nose. Both male and female have horns but bulls have more massive body with a weight of even 350 kg.
In the wild, they prefer mountainous areas from the bottom of forested valleys and bamboo groves up to the mountainous grasslands. Primarily, they live between 1000 and 3300 meters above sea level.
Their diet consists of different plant materials. Standing on their two hind legs, they reach the upper shoots of woody plants. They have dense coat protecting them from the cold and their special nose preheat the air taken for breath.
In the wild, takins live in herds made of up females and young males. The adult bulls are mostly solitary. They always use the same route when moving from their resting place to drinking or feeding places by which well-beaten paths are created.
Since their population is constantly decreasing in their natural habitat due to poaching and deforestation, the IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) categorises takin as vulnerable. The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) breeds these rare animals within the framework of the European Studbooks Program.