This is the first time that a takin calf was born in Hungary. These strange-looking ungulates seem to be bovine animals but according to the genetic analyses they belong to the subfamily Caprine. Takins live in diverse habitats in the Eastern region of the Himalaya, in India, Myanmar, China and Bhutan. Four subspecies is distinguished on the basis of external appearance and their habitat.
They are real curiosity in zoo because there are only 400 of them exhibited all over the world of which 4 live in Nyíregyháza.
Out of the four takin types, Mishmi takins (Budorcas taxicolor taxicolor) are living in Nyíregyháza. These animals are native to the Arunachal Pradesh State of India, the northern part of Myanmar, South Eastern part of Tibet and North Western part of China’s Yunnan province. Their population is estimated to be not more than 3500 animals. The takin bull of Nyíregyháza Zoo arrived from Germany in 2009 within the framework of the European Studbooks Program. The females came from France in 2014.
The takin calf was born after a 220 days long pregnancy. He was able to stand on its legs after a few hours. The 3 weeks old bull is nursed by its mother more times a day until he will be 9 months old. The birth of this calf is a real professional sensation because no specimen of this species was ever born in Hungary.
Matured animals have big head with the special characteristics of a curved nose. Both male and female have horns but bulls have more massive body with a weight of even 350 kg.
In the wild, they prefer mountainous areas from the bottom of forested valleys and bamboo groves up to the mountainous grasslands. Primarily, they live between 1000 and 3300 meters above sea level.
Their diet consists of different plant materials. Standing on their two hind legs, they reach the upper shoots of woody plants. They have dense coat protecting them from the cold and their special nose preheat the air taken for breath.
In the wild, takins live in herds made of up females and young males. The adult bulls are mostly solitary. They always use the same route when moving from their resting place to drinking or feeding places by which well-beaten paths are created.
Since their population is constantly decreasing in their natural habitat due to poaching and deforestation, the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) categorises takin as vulnerable. The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) breeds these rare animals within the framework of the European Studbooks Program.
The white lion couple has been raising its 3 cubs - born in winter – under a complete news blackout up until now, but the little ones felt the first rays of spring sunshine and left their safe den to take their first steps out to the enclosure, following their mother.
The colleagues of our zoo held their breath as they were monitoring whether the babies born 8 January 2017 can stay with their mother or not, since one of our internet stars, Coconut (Kókusz) needed the help of the zookeepers to be raised.
Our worries dissolved into thin air during the progress of weeks, the breeding pair – the male specimen from the Netherlands, Inkosi and his mate, Binti from the Czech Republic – raises its offspring in a quite caring manner.
The two little females and the male cub are still breastfed, but within a month they will completely switch to meat-based feeding.
The „white” coloured animals belong to one of the populations of the South African (kruger) lion subspecies and their habitat is limited to South Africa, to the areas of the Timbavati Wildlife Park and the Kruger National Park. The shade of their fur helps ambush, since this region is characterized by white-sanded river basins and high grass.
This colour variaton of kruger lions is one of the most mystical animals of Africa, since its existence was only suspected for a number of decades. The South African aboriginals respected white lions as the direct emissaries of the godly world. Their habitat, Timbavati means „the place where the star-lions came to existence”.
It could be heard about these rare carnivores in 1928 for the first time, but they only gained public attention during the seventies, after the issue of Chris McBride’s book, The White Lions of Timbavati. This was the time when the world became aware of their existence, and thus when these animals became the desired trophy of white hunters. Their populations decreased remarkably due to hunting, the last time they saw a specimen in the wild was in 1994.
The number of specimens living in zoos and wildlife reserves does not reach 500, out of which two adults and now – together with the cub born last year – four offsprings live in Sóstó Zoo.