Bhutan’s National Zoo

The Motithang Takin Preserve was initially a mini-zoo and was converted into a wildlife preserve by the King of Bhutan. Due to his Buddhist beliefs, he felt it was improper for animals to be kept in a confined space. The preserve was, and still is today, the home of the takin, the national animal of Bhutan. The legend behind the takin dates back to the 15th century when Drukpa Kunley, a religious preacher and saint, was asked to perform a miracle for the people of Bhutan. The saint complied by uniting the head of a goat with the body of a cow, magically creating Bhutan’s national animal. The Preserve is also the home of other species, like the Sambar deer buck and doe.