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26 March 2021, 07:06

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While the baby is growing and gaining strength, his mother protects him in a secluded corner of the aviary. You can see the newborn takin in a short video on mos.ru.

A baby Sichuan takin was born at the Moscow Zoo. This species is listed in the International Red Book as close to extinction. The number of such animals in the wild is steadily declining. Takins, especially the Sichuan subspecies, are rarely kept in European zoos.

The offspring appeared at the three-year-old male Doni and the four-year-old female Xia. Since this was the first pregnancy for Xia, the zoologists were worried about how she would accept the baby. But her maternal instinct immediately woke up: after giving birth, the female licked the cub and since then has been following his every step. At birth, the weight of the little takin was nine kilograms, now he has reached 20.

The baby began to move independently around the aviary a few days after birth. He willingly studies the world around him, but for now he tries to stay close to his mother and, at any suspicious rustle, hides behind her. Zoologists examined the cub and made sure that he was healthy. No name has yet been found for him. Experts are waiting for the takin to manifest itself in some way, so that the animal’s name reflects its character.

The cub still feeds on its mother’s milk, although it occasionally tastes adult food. The diet of the Sichuan takins of the Moscow Zoo includes green branches, alfalfa, and compound feed. Fresh grass is added to their menu in summer, and hay in winter. The favorite delicacy of animals is muesli. He will switch to the diet of his relatives by the age of six months.

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

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

“Sichuan takins first appeared at the zoo in 2009. Since then, zoologists have managed to create comfortable conditions for them and achieve regular offspring. Our family of these rare ungulates has become the largest in Russia. New cubs are born every year. When they turn three, we send babies to other leading zoos in the country or Europe. This is how the “graduates” of the Moscow Zoo are helping to create a reserve population of endangered animals around the world, ”said the press service of the Moscow Zoo.

Today, in the main exhibition of the zoo, you can see five takins: two females and two males, as well as one newborn. Another breeding pair with cubs lives in the Center for the Reproduction of Rare Animal Species 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 bovine artiodactyls. These are relatives of goats and rams, but with a massive body, a large head with a wide muzzle and powerful short legs, they look more like bulls. Both males and females have horns. The animals can boast of long, thick hair, and its color varies from golden to reddish and even gray-red in different individuals. Wool richly greased with sebum protects takins from the high humidity and fogs typical of the mountainous forests of Asia.

Animals prefer to live in groups in hard-to-reach places – this makes it easier for them to defend themselves from predators. Takins are rather shy, during the day they usually hide in the thickets, and go out in search of food only in the evening. Their life expectancy is 12-15 years, in captivity they can live up to 20 years.

In 2020 were born in the capital zoo rare Amur tigers, Bolivian mirikini (nocturnal monkey), cormorants, curly pelicans, maned wolves and Humboldt penguins. Also, a cub of a red-book cat lemur and a chick of a black stork, a cub of a huge clouded rat, and a small hornbill were born. The offspring are pink and red flamingos, rare blue keffihis, royal pythons, white-tailed eagles and vanderu macaques.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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