Adorable Dog Is Caretaker To Orphaned Takin At The Cincinnati Zoo

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has been caring for a takin that was rejected by its mother right after birth. As takin need companions, the zookeepers turned to Blakely the Australian shepherd for help, and the dog has become Dale the takin’s nanny and companion.

Blakely was born in 2011, and he has served as a nanny for several other animals over the years, including tiger cubs, wallabies, bat-eared foxes, an ocelot, several cheetahs, an aardvark, and a warthog according to the Cincinnati Zoo. In addition to cuddling and playing with his charges, Blakely teaches them etiquette. For example, he has had to teach the various felines the difference between a play bite and a painful fight. He has also had to break up fights.

What is a takin? A takin is a large hoofed mammal that is native to western China and the Himalayas. Adult takins can stand between three and four feet tall and weigh anywhere between 550 and 770 pounds. Both sexes have curved horns. Takins are herbivores that eat grass, shoots, buds, and leaves. They are most active in the early morning and the late afternoon. Takins have split hooves that enable them to navigate rocky and mountainous terrain with ease. They have a life expectancy between 12 and 15 years. 

Dale can spend only a few months with Blakely, as he will soon be too large to safely play with him. The zoo staff has thus been working to reintroduce Dale to his parents. They started by letting Dale and his parents see each other through a mesh screen. Later, the staff began putting the takins together. This time, the zoo is happy to report that Dale’s parents Harry and Sally accepted him

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