|Yaks are a long-haired cattle cousin found throughout the Himalaya region of southern Central Asia, the Tibetan Plateau and as far north as Mongolia and Russia. Most yaks are domesticated; however there is a small, population of wild yaks.|
Yaks may have diverged from cattle at any point between one and five million years ago, and there is some suggestion that they may be closely related to Bison.
Domesticated Yaks have been kept for thousands of years, primarily for their milk, fiber, and meat. Their dried poop are an important fuel, used all over Tibet, and are often the only fuel available on the high treeless Tibetan Plateau.
They are also used as beasts of burden. Yaks transport goods across mountain passes for local farmers and they are used for climbing and trekking expeditions. Yaks are hearty animals and are good for long journeys however; they will not eat grain, which could be carried on the journey. They will starve unless they can be brought to a place where there is grass.
Yaks are used to draw ploughs. Yak's milk is often processed to a cheese called chhurpi in Tibetan and Nepali languages, and byaslag in Mongolia. Butter made of yak's milk is an ingredient of the butter tea that Tibetans consume in large quantities, and is also used in lamps and made into butter sculptures used in religious festivities.
Yaks are also used for sports like Yak racing, Yak Skiing, and Yak polo.
Yaks grunt and don’t make the characteristic mooing sound that cows do. And contrary to popular belief they don’t stink, in fact they have almost no odor at all.
Sometimes yaks are crossbred with cattle to produce to infertile males, called a dzo, or fertile females known asa dzomo or zhom, which may be crossed again with cattle. Yaks have also been bred with Bison, Gaur (Indian Bison), and Banteng cattle.
Yaks come in the following colors:
- Tibetan black