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Golden Takin

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.

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Dan Doucette
Dan Doucette 11 years ago

Thanks for everyone's great comments. I'm glad I could 'bring' everyone with me for this spotting!

DanielePralong 11 years ago

Great story Dan!

patty 11 years ago

The golden takin and panda quest must have been very exciting; and its nice to hear there are wild animals who can still run away from people.
It made me feel that I wouldn´t like to go and disturb the animals further, your pictures and story is enough =)

AnnvanWijgerden 11 years ago

What a brilliant experience!!! Thanks so much for sharing it with us! :-)

williefromwi 11 years ago

Dan, I can only imagine the wonderful time you had tracking your quarry. I loved your story, and found myself wishing I were along for the adventure. You got a great spotting, and I am extremely happy for you.

NeilDazet 11 years ago

Great spotting and story! Thanks for sharing.

Steffi 11 years ago

Cool! They are beautiful!

Dan Doucette
Dan Doucette 11 years ago

Thanks Emma, glad you liked the story Entre and yes, Ava it was amazing!

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 11 years ago

How amazing to see these in such dense bamboo forest and in the wild! I've only seen them in the zoo.

EntreAguas 11 years ago

Awesome story!!

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 11 years ago

Beautiful colors!

Dan Doucette
Spotted by
Dan Doucette

陕西, Paracel Islands

Spotted on Jun 21, 2012
Submitted on Jun 21, 2012

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