What is the National Animal of Bhutan?
Takin is the official national animal of Bhutan. Takin was entitled to the official Bhutan national animal. The scientific name of the Takin is Budorcas taxicolor. It is a very rare mammal with a thick neck and short muscular legs. The national animal of Bhutan lives in groups and is found above 4000 meters on the north-western and far northeastern parts of the country. They feed on bamboo. An adult Takin can weigh over 200 kgs.
National Animal of Bhutan Facts—
- Common Name: Takin
- Scientific Name: Budorcas taxicolor
- Color: Whitish yellow to golden
- Height: 97 to 140 cm (38 to 55 in) at the shoulder
- Weight: males 300–350 kg (660–770 lb) and females 250–300 kg (550–660 lb)
- Diet: herbivore
- Cubs: one calf between December and February
- Behavior: found in small family groups of around 20 individuals, although older males may lead more solitary existences. In the summer, herds of up to 300 individuals gather high on the mountain slopes
- Lifespan: 12-15 years
Bhutan’s national animal, Takin, mates in the summer and their growth period lasts for 7 to 8 months. Typically, just one calf is born between Decembers to February. The young ones are black and the adult takins have golden yellow and brownish coat. Taking move down to the lower valleys around the autumn season. By late October, the clement broadleaf forests between 2000 m and 3000 m turn into these animals’ winter grazing grounds. Since they are the endangered species and the National Animal of Bhutan, the law bans their hunting.
The traditional medicinal system of Bhutan believes that the horn of the takin, consumed in small amounts, can assist women during a difficult childbirth. The main threat to the taking is the fight for food with domestic yaks in the alpine regions and loss of habitat in the temperate regions. The national animal of Bhutan, Takin, has been selected as the National Animal of Bhutan because of its distinctiveness, rareness and because it is native to Bhutan. It is closely related to religious history and mythology of the country.
It is like an assembly of assorted animals and perhaps, this why a strange story regarding its origins is popular in Bhutan. It is said that Lama Drukpa Kuenley, widely known as the Divine Madman, went to Bhutan in the 15th century to be present at a large congregation of devotees that had gathered from all over Bhutan to receive a blessing from another Saint. The religious-minded people started mocking him and irritating him to show his magical powers or a miracle. Untroubled by their feedback, Saint Kuenley wanted a whole cow and a goat for lunch.
He savored the meat and devoured the entire animals, leaving only their bones. He then frantically put the goat’s head with the cow’s bones and snapping fingers, ordered the beast to rise up and go and graze on the slopes of the mountain. The strange best instantaneously rose up from the dead and followed his instructions, leaving the people astounded and shocked. The animal was called ‘Dyiong-gym tsi’ or takin. Takin seems like a cross between a gun and a musk deer. It is an herbivorous animal and can be seen in the north-western and far north-eastern Bhutan. Takin is considered to be rather vulnerable worldwide but survives well in Bhutan.