Motithang Takin Preserve

Motithang Takin Preserve

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A Sanctuary for Bhutan’s National Animal

Motithang Takin Preserve, located in the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu, is a unique conservation area dedicated to the protection of the Takin, Bhutan’s national animal. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the Motithang Takin Preserve, including its history, significance, conservation efforts, visitor experience, and the cultural significance of the Takin in Bhutan.

History and Establishment:
The Motithang Takin Preserve was established in 1976 by the third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The preserve was created to safeguard the Takin, a fascinating and rare animal that holds both cultural and ecological importance in Bhutan. The unique blend of half-goat and half-cow characteristics makes the Takin an extraordinary species found only in Bhutan and neighboring regions.

The Takin – Bhutan’s National Animal:
The Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) is a large and robust mammal belonging to the bovid family. It is native to the eastern Himalayas and inhabits the high-altitude forests and alpine meadows. The Takin’s appearance is distinct, with a thick neck, short legs, and a hump-like shoulder ridge. Its unique features and local folklore have contributed to its status as Bhutan’s national animal.

Conservation Efforts:
The Motithang Takin Preserve plays a vital role in the conservation of this rare species. The preserve provides a safe and protected habitat for the Takin to thrive without the pressures of human interference. Conservation efforts also include monitoring the Takin population, ensuring their well-being, and preserving their natural habitat. The preserve serves as a model for the conservation of other endangered species in Bhutan.

Visitor Experience:
The Motithang Takin Preserve is open to visitors, offering a remarkable opportunity to observe these unique creatures up close. The preserve provides a natural environment where the Takin can roam freely. Visitors can watch the Takin grazing, socializing, and engaging in their natural behaviors. The preserve also has knowledgeable guides who provide information about the Takin and its significance in Bhutanese culture and wildlife conservation.

Cultural Significance:
The Takin holds a special place in Bhutanese folklore and culture. According to legend, the Takin was created by the great Buddhist saint, Drukpa Kunley, also known as the “Divine Madman.” The saint was known for his eccentric behavior and unconventional teachings. It is said that he once demanded a whole goat and a cow to eat, which he then magically combined to create the Takin, offering it as a testament to his extraordinary powers. This unique creation story adds to the Takin’s cultural significance in Bhutan.

Role in Bhutanese Society:
The Takin is not only a symbol of Bhutanese culture but also an indicator of environmental balance. As an important component of the ecosystem, the presence of Takin indicates the health of the forest and its biodiversity. Bhutan’s commitment to preserving the Takin’s habitat reflects the country’s holistic approach to conservation, as demonstrated by its policy of Gross National Happiness (GNH) that values the well-being of both its people and the environment.

Threats and Conservation Challenges:
Despite being protected within the preserve, the Takin faces certain threats in the wild, including habitat loss due to human activities, climate change, and disturbances caused by tourism. Conservationists and local authorities work together to address these challenges and ensure the long-term survival of this unique species.

Educational and Research Opportunities:
The Motithang Takin Preserve also serves as an educational resource for locals and visitors alike. It offers valuable insights into wildlife conservation and the importance of preserving the natural environment. Researchers and wildlife enthusiasts find the preserve to be an ideal site for studying the behavior and ecology of the Takin.

The Motithang Takin Preserve stands as a testament to Bhutan’s commitment to wildlife conservation and the preservation of its unique natural heritage. As the home to Bhutan’s national animal, the preserve allows visitors to connect with this fascinating creature and learn about its cultural significance. With its successful conservation efforts, the Motithang Takin Preserve is a symbol of Bhutan’s dedication to protecting its biodiversity and ensuring a harmonious relationship between its people and nature.


Today Closed UTC+5.5

09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Monday
    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Tuesday
    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Wednesday
    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Thursday
    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Friday
    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Saturday
    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
  • Sunday
    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM


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