Potawatomi Zoo welcomes first baby animal born this year

A Sichuan takin calf was born Tuesday at the Potawatomi Zoo, making it their first baby animal of the year.

The calf, whose sex is still undetermined, was born to mother Mulan and father Krunk.

"We’ve taken a good look at it, and the baby seems healthy, but we’re giving it time to bond with its mother before we bring it in for a hands-on health check," explains Josh Sisk, director of animal programs and education.

From the Potawatomi Zoo:

The Potawatomi Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a Sichuan takin calf. The calf, whose sex is still undetermined, was born to mother Mulan and father Krunk on February 26. Sichuan takin are cold-hardy animals, and the calf is already living outside in the takin habitat with its parents and half-sister, Yi-Liu.

“We’re really excited about this first baby animal of the year, especially since it’s a rare species,” says Josh Sisk, director of animal programs and education. “We’ve taken a good look at it, and the baby seems healthy, but we’re giving it time to bond with its mother before we bring it in for a hands-on health check.”

Sichuan takin are a vulnerable species native to Tibet and the provinces of Sichuan, Gansu, and Xinjiang in the People’s Republic of China. Their habitat is mid- to high-altitude mountains, with dense undergrowth and rocky hillsides. They eat shrubs, grasses, and leaves. Takin range in size from 3-4 feet tall at the shoulder and 550-770 pounds. Male Sichuan takin have a distinctive golden coat, while female takin are brown.

This birth was part of a recommended breeding by the Sichuan takin Species Survival Plan program. Fewer than 20 zoos have Sichuan takin in the United States, and they are all part of the Species Survival Plan.