Illinois, Oddities

Who ever heard of a takin?


Mishmi-Takin, 100 Jahre Tiergarten, Nürnberg, ...
Mishmi-Takin (Photo by Peter Bischoff/Getty Images)

When you’ve been to as many zoos as I have been to, it’s rare to find an animal you’ve never heard of. It’s rarer still to find one so odd that you just can’t stop staring at the thing, even as your kid is tugging at your hand begging you to move on to the next exhibit. But this happened to me a few weeks ago at the Peoria Zoo in Peoria, Illinois. In fact, it was such a surreal experience, I can’t stop thinking of it today.

The takin is possibly *the* weirdest animal I’ve ever seen. Is it related to the water buffalo? Is it some sort of hybrid moose? What do you compare it to? Where did this thing come from, and how have I never heard of such a thing before? Was it even born on this planet?

Which leads me to wonder: what other oddball beings might exist in this world without me realizing it? What is the weirdest animal you have ever come across in real life? Please share in the comments below.



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