Meet Jin Tong, the zoo’s rare (and adorable) golden takin calf

SAN DIEGO — A rare male golden takin calf born at the San Diego Zoo now has a name: Jin Tong, or “Golden Boy” in Mandarin Chinese.

Takins are horned mammals related to sheep that live in the high elevations of their native Himalayan mountains, the zoo said in a news release. They are known for their agility, which allows them to navigate rugged landscapes easily.

The zoo is the only place that golden takins can be seen in the Western Hemisphere, and the arrival of baby Jin Tong was a major occasion in March. It was just the second animal of its subspecies to be born in the West — and the first boy.


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The calf is doing well and “adjusting to life within the herd,” the zoo said. His mother’s name is Bona.

The other calf to be born in San Diego came around the same time last year. That little golden takin was a girl named Mei Ling, or “beautiful antelope.”

“While young takins have a much darker colored coat, the adults have thick, shaggy, golden-hued coats, which provides the species its name,” the zoo explained. That contrast is evident in a recent photo of the calf with its mother shared by the zoo.

Visitors can see the pair bonding and little Jin Tong exploring in the zoo’s Asian Passage area. You can view a San Diego Zoo map here and a plan a trip to the park online.

Jin Tong, a rare golden takin calf born at the San Diego Zoo, captured in an adorable action shot. (Photo: San Diego Zoo)

Takins are listed as “vulnerable” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

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