You cannot visit Bhutan and not get acquainted with the Takin.
Takin is the national animal of Bhutan and is usually found in and around these regions of Himalayas. It has a rather odd appearance with its body appearing as that of a cow and its head as that of a goat. In fact, there is very little clarity on its Scientific origins.
However, there is an interesting mythological story behind its creation. It is said that many centuries ago, in Bhutan, lived a “Divine Madman” – whose story I shall discuss in my further posts, but he was responsible for the creation of the Takin.
The “Madman” had feasted on a cow and a goat and then took the skeletal remains of the head of the goat and attached it to the skeletal remains of the cow and lo behold – the Takin was created.
Located in Thimphu is the Takin preserve. A certain part of the forest area has been converted into a preserve to ensure the preservation of these interesting animals as well as a few other species such as the Musk deer, barking deer and a few others. The preserve is vastly occupied with Pine trees around which the Takin and the other deer species stay around.
I visited this Preserve to say hello to these interesting species. The preserve was a hilly area where metal partition nets were set-up to separate a part of the forest area for the animals to stay and the other part where the visitors could walk and understand more of these special animals.
I saw my first Takin a few minutes later. He was busy feeding on some food. As I went closer by the nets to explore, a funny stench engulfed me. The Takin, evidently, has a strong odor too. It looked a rather serious creature, not much interested in human interactions and just satisfied with its own life. Baby Takins were spotted close by too. They seemed like a peaceful breed as we spotted a few species of deer and their babies in the same preserve happily playing around.
There isn’t much that you would miss if you don’t visit this place but then, the Takin is an interesting animal to witness – especially since it is predominantly present only in these selected Himalayan regions.
Make a quick trip here if ever in Thimphu and say hi to these interesting animals. Who knows when can you see them next?