takinimage credit: wAlanb

takinimage credit: Donna *deestea*

takinimage credit: Twitchietai
China and along the eastern Himalayas in Asia

The Takin is one cool animal. It’s a goat-antelope, or goatalope as I prefer to call them, and grows to weigh 1,400 lbs! They have been likened to a “bee-stung moose,” because of the swollen appearance of the face.

Bhutan selected the Takin as the national animal based on both its uniqueness and its strong association with the country’s religious history and mythology. There is a legend about this Takin that goes as follows:

“According to legend, when Lama Drukpa Kunley (called “the divine madman”) visited Bhutan in the 15th century, a large congregation of devotees gathered around the country to witness his magical powers. The people urged the lama to perform a miracle. However, the saint, in his usual unorthodox and outrageous way, demanded that he first be served a whole cow and a goat for lunch. He devoured these with relish and left only bones. After letting out a large and satisfied burp, he took the goat’s head and stuck it onto the bones of the cow. And then with a snap of his fingers, he commanded the strange beast to rise up and graze on the mountainside. To the astonishment of the people the animal arose and ran up to the meadows to graze. This animal came to be known as the dong gyem tsey (takin) and to this day, these animals can be seen grazing on the mountainsides of Bhutan.”