Baby takin reintroduced to parents at Cincy Zoo

Posted at 1:02 PM, Nov 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-17 13:02:10-05

CINCINNATI -- After months in a nursery, a baby Takin has been reunited with his mother.

Zoo workers said four-month-old takin “Dale” was being cared for by nursery keepers after his mom, “Sally,” didn’t pay attention to her newborn.

The zoo staff fed and cared for Dale while the nursery’s resident dog, “Blakely,” helped Dale socialize and learn behaviors. The goal was to get Dale strong enough to rejoin his parents in Wildlife Canyon.

After three and a half months, Dale outgrew his companion and was allowed start introductions with Sally and his dad, “Harry.”

“We started by giving mom and baby visual access through a mesh screen.  After that went well, we put them together for short periods.  They are now together all the time and getting along great. Sally nuzzles him and responds when he initiates play,” Wildlife Canyon Keeper Paul Reinhart said via a release. “Blakely started to avoid Dale’s head butts, but his 500-pound mom is receptive to his forceful bids for attention.”

Dale and mom are now on exhibit at Wildlife Canyon. Dale is the seventh takin to be born in Cincinnati.

Zoo workers said takins are large, muscular, hoofed animals that make mountainous bamboo forests their home. Takins are native to the Himalayas and Western China.

Takins can weigh between 550 to 770 pounds and can grow to 4 feet tall. Both males and females have horns that curve backwards and outwards and range between 10 to 12 inches in length.

The animals tend to live for 12 to 15 years and subside on grasses, leaves, buds and shoots.

If you want to view the takins, the best times are in the early morning and late afternoon. Zookeepers said takins are hearty animals that are fine with cold temperatures. That makes them good animals to visit during the winter months.

Their neighbors, Bactrian camels “Saari” and “Humphrey,” will also be out in cold weather.

The Cincinnati Zoo is one of only 17 institutions in the U.S. that house the beasts.