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Takin (Burdorcas taxicolor) Fact Sheet, 2011   Tags: bhutan, bovid, burma, china, conservation, fact sheet, horn, india, mammal, mountain, myanmar, san diego zoo, sdzg, takin  

Last Updated: Mar 21, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Takin (Burdorcas taxicolor) Fact Sheet, 2011

Takin at the San Diego Zoo

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.

TaxonomyPhysical Characteristics

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodactyla — even-toed hoofed animals; includes pigs, sheep goats, cattle, deer

Family: Bovidae — cattle, water buffalo, bison, antelopes, goats, sheep and more

Genus: Budorcas

Species: Budorcas taxicolor – takin

Subspecies: Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi
Subspecies: Budorcas taxicolor taxicolor
Subspecies: Budorcas taxicolor tibetana
Subspecies: Budorcas taxicolor whitei

Body Weight
Male: 300-350 kg (660-770 lb)
Female: 240-280 kg (528-616 lb)

Body Length
Male: 210-220 cm (7-7.3 ft)
Female: 170 cm (5.6 ft)

Tail Length
15-20 cm (6-8 in)

Long, shaggy hair. Coat color varies from whitish to golden yellow to red-brown. May have a stripe running down their spine.

Distribution & StatusBehavior & Ecology

Bhutan, China, northwest India, northern Myanmar (Burma)

Rugged and remote mountainous terrain, pine scrub, subtropical forest, possibly temperature forest, alpine meadows during summer

IUCN Status

CITES Appendix
Appendix II

Other Designations
Protected in China, India, and Bhutan; not protected in other locations

Population in Wild
Difficult to assess; estimates very rough.

Walk with head low, swaying from side-to-side. Move slowly and deliberately.

Activity Cycle
Not much known. May be active day and night, and this may change with the season.

Social Groups
Gregarious, social. Core unit of adult females with young. Older males usually solitary until rutting season. Males likely dominant to females.

Grasses, herbs, bamboo shoots, leaves of shrubs and trees.

Humans, snow leopards (take young, but not adults), Asiastic wild dogs; other predators possible

Reproduction & DevelopmentSpecies Highlights

Sexual Maturity
Females: about 4.5 years
Males: about 5.5 years

200-220 days

Litter Size
Usually one calf

Interbirth Interval
About one year

Birth Weight
5-7 kg (11-15.4 lb)

Age at Weaning
Eats solid food by 2 months

In the wild: 16-18 years
In captivity: at least 20 years

Feature Facts

  • The takin's scientific name refers to its badger-like coloration
  • Rugged animals; adapted to high elevations
  • Both sexes have horns
  • Head down posture used as threat display
  • Strong smelling oily substance over their hair
  • Sleep with front feet extended, head resting atop, like dogs
  • Make use of hot springs
  • Some populations especially vulnerable to climate change
  • San Diego Zoo has successfully bred takins

About This Fact Sheet

© 2011 San Diego Zoo Global.

How to cite: Takin (Burdorcas taxicolor) Fact Sheet, 2011. c2011. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd].
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)

Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to


What's a Takin?

Takin calf

Takin (TAH-ken) resemble an unusual cross between a moose, bison, and a wildebeest, with some other uncommon traits thrown in. Regardless, the calves sure are cute!

Large and powerful, these unique animals have adapted to live in a challenging part of the world—mountainous areas of China, Bhutan, India, and Myanmar.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.

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