Zoo wants help naming new takin babies
One of the recently born Sichuan takin calves at Lincoln Park Zoo. (Lincoln Park Zoo / February 13, 2013)
Sichuan takins are native to the mountains of China, and are relatively rare in zoos with only 90 living in 17 zoos nationwide, according to a release from the Lincoln Park Zoo.
First-time mom Mei Li, 5, gave birth to one calf on Jan. 31 and Jinse, 8, welcomed her second calf on
Feb. 9. Both calves were sired by 6-year-old Quanli, bringing the Lincoln Park herd to six individuals, zoo officials said.
Both calves are healthy.
"At only a few days old, Mei Li's calf is full of energy and already playfully head-butting his dad," zoo general curator Dave Bernier said. "The younger calf is still a little more timid, sticking close to mom and finding his feet as he explores the yard.
Starting today, the new takins can be seen in the antelope and zebra area from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the zoo said.
People are encouraged to go to the zoo's website at www.lpzoo.org/namethetakins to vote on six names in the Mandarin language, with the top two vote-getters going to name the calves:
-- Yen Li – calming strength
-- Chen Li – morning strength
-- Mengyao – superior handsomeness
-- Ming Hoa – shining elite
-- Temur Khan – blessed iron ruler
-- Xing Fu – happy good fortune
Results of the poll will be released on the zoo's Facebook page on Feb. 20, officials said, saying the zoo considers the two babies a Valentine's gift.
"A pair of healthy takin boys is way better than candy and roses," Bernier said. "It is great to have two youngsters at the same time for the animals' social development, and we can look forward to some exciting play behavior in the near future."