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Takin (Budorcas spp.) Fact Sheet: Summary

Takin (Budorcas spp.) Fact Sheet

Takin at the San Diego Zoo

Takin (Budorcas spp.)

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.


Taxonomy Physical 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

Subspecies: Budorcas taxicolor taxicolor – Mishmi takin

Subspecies: Budorcas taxicolor whitei – Bhutan takin

Species: Budorca tibetana

Subspecies: Budorcas tibetana tibetana – Sichuan takin

Subspecies: Budorcas tibetana bedfordi – Qinling takin

Body Weight
Male: 300-350 kg (600-770 lb)
Female: 240-280 kg (530-620 lb)

Body Length
Male: 210-220 cm (6.0-7.2 ft)
Female: 170 cm (5.6 ft)

Tail Length
15-20 cm (5.9-8 in)

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

Distribution & Status Behavior & 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
Vulnerable (2008 assessment)

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. 7,000-12,000 individuals is best estimate.

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 & Development Species 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

Typical Life Expectancy
Managed care: median life expectancy of about 12 to 13 years for male Sichuan takin (Budorcas tibetana tibetana); not known for females

Feature Facts

  • Rugged animals
  • Adapted to high elevations
  • Both sexes have horns
  • Head down posture used as threat display
  • Strong smelling oily substance on hair
  • Sleep with front feet extended, head resting atop, like dogs
  • Wallow in hot springs
  • Some populations especially vulnerable to climate change
  • San Diego Zoo has successfully bred takins

About This Fact Sheet

© 2011-2019 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Population estimates updated Apr 2019. Taxonomy updated Apr 2022.


How to cite: Takin (Budorcas spp.) Fact Sheet. c2011-2019. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd].
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)


Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance 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 Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

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