A Star is Born: New Golden Takin Kid at the San Diego Zoo


A Golden Baby for a Golden Species

Every animal born at the San Diego Zoo is important. But one of the zoo’s newest residents is a little extra special. Mei Ling is the first Golden Takin to be born in the Western Hemisphere. Her name means “beautiful antelope” in Mandarin and Mei is just that.

A baby Golden Takin stands on a ledge between two trees

Takins usually give birth to a single kid in the springtime. And while Golden Takins get their name from the golden color of their coats, baby Takins are darker brown in color. This helps the calves camouflage against the ground, keeping them better hidden from predators. 

Endangered Means There’s Still Time

Little Mei’s birth is an important step toward making sure Takins survive for generations to come. The San Diego Zoo is the only place in the Western Hemisphere where you have the opportunity to see Golden Takins. Taking your kiddos to visit this antelope species, and meet their little one, is a great way to teach your kids about conservation. The Golden Takin is endangered in their native China due to habitat loss.

A mother Golden Takin stands guard over her new baby

Steps to Help with Conservation

Although we don’t live in China, there are ways we can help with habitat loss in our own backyard. Planting native plants in your garden at home gives animals that are native to San Diego access to a natural food source. Make sure your household is recycling as much as they can, including tech devices like phones and computers. Another way to help with conservation could be to use a lemonade stand to raise money to donate to places like The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, whose main focus is on worldwide conservation.

A baby Golden Takin rubs its nose on a nearby tree trunk

Your family can visit Mei and her family at Panda Trek, which you can find at the bottom of Tiger Trail. If there is a zoo volunteer nearby, they are always happy to answer any questions you or your little ones might have.

Plan your Zoo visit here. And explore our must-have Zoo guide here.


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