National Animal

The 'Dong Gyem Tsey' or takin is Bhutan's national animal for its uniqueness and strong association with the country's religious history and mythology. It is said that during his visit to Bhutan in the 15th century, the divine madman Lama Drukpa Kuenley was asked to perform a miracle. After devouring a whole cow and goat, he took the goat's head and stuck it onto the bones of the cow's body. On his command, this strange animal came to life and ran to gaze on the mountainside. To this day, these animals resembling a cross between a gnu and a musk deer can be found grazing on herbs, shrubs and grass in the north - western and far north - eastern Bhutan.