Skip to main content

While its stunning landscapes and unique culture are celebrated worldwide, there’s one creature that stands out as an emblem of Bhutanese uniqueness – the takin. Join us on a virtual journey to the Motithang Takin Preserve in Thimphu, where you can witness these intriguing creatures in their natural habitat.

Encountering Bhutan’s Enigmatic Takin at Motithang Takin Preserve

The takin, known locally as “Dong Gyem Tsey,” is a remarkable creature that defies easy classification. Often referred to as a goat-antelope or a gnu-goat, takins possess a blend of features from both species. With a stocky body, cloven hooves, and a strikingly large head, they are an unusual sight in the animal kingdom.

Native to the Himalayan region, takins are more than just a quirky wildlife species; they hold deep cultural and religious significance in Bhutan. Local legend has it that they were created by a revered saint, Lama Drukpa Kunley, also known as the “Divine Madman.” These creatures are believed to be living examples of the Lama’s playful sense of humor, combining the body of a goat with the head of a cow.

To witness these enigmatic creatures in their natural habitat, the Motithang Takin Preserve in Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, is the place to go. Established in 1974, this sanctuary serves as a dedicated home for the takin and is a testament to Bhutan’s commitment to wildlife conservation.

As you enter the preserve, you’ll be welcomed by the lush greenery of the forested area, where takins roam freely. It’s a serene and tranquil setting that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a mystical realm. The preserve offers visitors a rare opportunity to observe these intriguing animals up close and personal while respecting their natural environment.