SAN DIEGO — An adorable golden takin calf at the San Diego Zoo is the first of its kind to be born in the Western Hemisphere.
The baby animal — named Mei Ling, or “beautiful antelope” in the Mandarin language — is settling in with its mother at the zoo’s Asian Passage area after being born last month.
“Golden takins are a horned mammal related to sheep and have adapted for life in the high elevation of their native Himalayan Mountain habitat,” the San Diego Zoo explained.
Mei Ling is “the first of this takin subspecies to be born in the Western Hemisphere.”
“The San Diego Zoo is the only place that takins (rhymes with “rockin’”) can be seen in the Western Hemisphere. These ruminants are very agile, navigating rugged landscapes with ease. They get their name from the golden hue of the thick, shaggy coat sported by adult takins,” the zoo news release continued.
Female takins generally give birth to a single calf in early spring.
“Within days, the young are capably moving on their own, a trait that helps them avoid predation. Young takins have a much darker coat than adults,” the zoo explained. “Their deep brown color serves to keep them camouflaged from predators.”