Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi
Huge goat-antelope standing 100 to 130 cm (39 to 51 in) at the shoulder and weighing up to 350 kg (770 lb). It's rare to see them in this color form.
Golden takin are confined to the Qinling mountains in southern Shaanxi. These were spotted on steep bamboo covered slopes.
I spent 10 days in Foping National Nature Reserve. With a day to get in and a day to get out, that left me with 8 days to search for wild giant panda and other mammals. One of those days got rained out but the trackers, my guide and I searched for something the remaining 7 days. One of those days I was determined to spend searching for golden takin. My guide told me the terrain was steep and rough and there was only a 20% chance to see them. He says they usually spot humans from far away and run but I was willing to take the chance. Just the 2 trackers and I went out. My guide stayed behind. They don't take just anybody to search for takin, you must be in good shape to keep up with the trackers. The two trackers split up and I stayed with the same one all day. It was a long and tiring day but in the end we were very lucky. After 6 hours of tough searching, going up and down steep slopes with no trails following fresh dung (and seeing dung of goral and serow) and tracks, the tracker and I landed right in the middle of a small heard of takin! I was so amazed. First we saw one down in a valley, but very far away. Then another walked past us through the dense bamboo about 10m (30') away, not even knowing we were there. Next we climbed out on to a tree that was standing horizontally over a steep slope. We perched there and 2 more takin came along, again, not knowing we were there. I snapped off a few photos before they heard my camera and spotted us. They realized what was going on and they were gone in a flash. The other tracker said there were 9 in the herd. I showed my guide the pictures when we got back. He had only been at Foping for a couple of years, but he had yet to see the takin with that color fur. One of my best wildlife days ever.