In Room 8, visitors can admire the impressive variety of shapes and sizes of Artiodactyls, an order of herbivorous mammals. A total of 63 complete specimens are on show, including one representative of the Cervidae family (moose), a Giraffidae (okapi), an Antilocapridae (pronghorn) and several species of Bovidae.
Among the Bovidae Caprinae worthy of note is the Tibetan antelope or chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii), the majority of whose populations live on the Tibetan plateau, where winter temperatures can drop to 30 degrees below zero. Its thick coat, which protects it from the intense cold, is used to make the softest and most prized wool in the world.
In the 1980s, Tibetan antelope wool became famous in America, Europe and Japan, leading to an increase in demand from the global fashion industry and thus a hike in the price of finished products. After a series of protection measures were implemented, the species was moved from the “endangered” category to “near threatened” in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.