When we were still in Thimphu last week, we went to the Bhutan Takin Reserve! The takin is Bhutan’s national animal, and is a fairly strange looking bovid (pictures below). When we saw on the schedule for that day that we were going to a “takin zoo” we were all very excited. Most takin live in the wild in Bhutan, and one of the Bhutanese kings did not like the idea of having a takin zoo near Thimphu, so he let them go free. But then they became as common as stray dogs in Bhutan and cows in India, and overran Thimphu very quickly. So they decided that they needed to bring the takin back to the preserve, but they made it much larger and feel like a forest. The takin now have plenty of space.
But before we even saw the takin, we had an unexpected addition to our group – a very pregnant mama goat! We met her at the entrance to the preserve, and she decided she wanted to show us around, so she followed us up the steep path! Her ears bounced when she walked and her belly was enormous, so we all thought she was just the cutest.
Then, with our goat friend still in tow, we saw the takin!
One of the large male takin decided that he really did not like this cheeky mama goat, so he rushed at her behind the fence several times. The goat was very calm, though. She didn’t mind.
We then went on a beautiful hike around the takin enclosure, identifying plants and laughing at the mama goat bouncing along the hilly path.
Takins and goats and SFS, oh my!