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Your morning adorable: Czech zoo welcomes endangered golden takins

February 8, 2010 | 11:27 am

One of three new-born endangered golden takin (budorcas taxicolor bedfordi) 
calves is seen with an adult at the Zoo in Liberec, some 100 kms north of Prague, 
Czech Republic. Three males were born in January and joined the herd in their 
outside enlosure on Monday, Feb. 8, 2010. The golden takins' herd in Liberec is 
the only one kept in captivity besides those in China and Japan.

At the Czech Republic's Liberec Zoo, the birth of an endangered golden takin is good news indeed. Imagine the excitement, then, when three of the rare goat-antelopes are born in a single month!

Golden takins are native to the Himalayan region of China, where they're threatened not just by large carnivorous animals like bears, but also by poachers. The Liberec Zoo is home to the only herd of golden takins outside Asia.

In an interview with Radio Prague, zoo spokesperson Ivan Langr explained that golden takins are especially well-suited to life in Liberec, which is situated at the base of a mountain range and is subject to harsh, cold winters. Another reason the zoo decided to import the large, strange-looking beasts is that "the Chinese allowed us to," Langr said. "The Chinese government is very protective of this animal ... they only allow them to be bred in certain places and under very strict conditions. So they had us build a special exhibit, sent specialists to make sure everything was up to par, and only then could the animals be moved."

The zoo's first golden takins, interestingly named Adam and Eva, arrived from China in 2002, and the burgeoning family seems to be thriving. The three new additions, all males, joined the rest of the herd in its outdoor enclosure on Feb. 8. See another photo after the jump!

One of three new-born endangered golden takin (Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi) 
calves gambols in snow at the Zoo in Liberec, some 100 kms north of Prague, Czech 
Republic. Three males were born in January and joined the herd in their outside 
enlosure on Monday, Feb. 8, 2010. The golden takins herd in Liberec is the only 
one kept in captivity besides those in China and Japan.

-- Lindsay Barnett

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Photo credits: Radek Petrasek / Associated Press

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