Takin Sanctuary

Short distance off the road to the telecom tower, a trail leads into a large fenced area that was originally established as a mini-zoo. The king decided that such a facility was not in keeping with Bhutan’s environmental and religious convictions, and it was disbanded sometime ago. The animals were released into the wild but the Takins were so tame (some people say they are simply stupid) that they wandered around the streets of Thimphu looking for food, and the only solution was to put them back into captivity. It’s worthwhile taking the time to see this strange, quite weird animal. Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) has been chosen as the national animal of Bhutan is based both on its uniqueness and its association with country’s history and mythology. It is said that Drukpa Kunley or Devine Madman, a popular 15th century saint is said to have created it with his magical power at a large congregation of devotees. It resembles a cow from back, a goat from the front, and it continues to befuddle taxonomists, who cannot quite relate to other animal.