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HIMALAYAN ANIMALS SERIES - V(IMAGES OF WILD ANIMALS FROM DARJEELING ZOO - LAST IN A SERIES OF 5 IMAGES).

SOME TIDBITS ABOUT THE HIMALAYAN YAK.

The yak (Bos grunniens for the domesticated, Bos mutus for the wild animal – but see below) is a long-haired bovine found throughout the Himalayan region of south
Central Asia, the Tibetan Plateau and as far north as Mongolia and Russia. In addition to a large domestic population, there is a small, vulnerable wild yak
population.Wild yaks are among the largest bovids and are second only to the gaur in shoulder height. They are also the largest native animal in their range. Wild yak adults stand about 1.6 to 2.2 m (5.2 to 7.2 ft) tall at the shoulder and weigh 305–1,000 kg (670–2,200 lb). The head and body length is 2.5 to 3.3 m (8.2 to 11 ft), not counting the tail of 60 to 100 cm (24 to 39 in). The females are about one-third the weight and are about 30% smaller in their linear dimensions when compared to bull wild yaks.Domesticated yaks are much smaller, males weighing 350 to 580 kg (770 to 1,300 lb) and females 225 to 255 kg (500 to 560 lb).

Yaks are heavily built animals with a bulky frame, sturdy legs, and rounded cloven hooves. They are the only wild bovids of this size with extremely dense, long fur that hangs down lower than the belly. Wild yaks are generally dark, blackish to brown, in pelage coloration. However, domestic yaks can be quite variable in color,often having patches of rusty brown and cream. They have small ears and a wide forehead, with smooth horns that are generally dark in colour. In males, the horns sweep out from the sides of the head, and then curve forward; they typically range from 48 to 99 cm (19 to 39 in) in length. The horns of females are smaller, only 27 to 64 cm (11 to 25 in) in length, and have a more upright shape. Both sexes have a short neck with a pronounced hump over the shoulders, although this is larger and more visible in males.Yaks are highly friendly in nature and can easily be trained. There has been very little documented aggression from yaks towards human beings,although mothers can be extremely protective of their young and will bluff charge if they feel threatened.

Domesticated yaks have been kept for thousands of years, primarily for their milk, fibre and meat, and as beasts of burden. Their dried droppings are an important fuel, used all over Tibet, and is often the only fuel available on the high treeless Tibetan Plateau. Yaks transport goods across mountain passes for local farmers and traders as well as for climbing and trekking expeditions.In the 1990s, a concerted effort was undertaken to help save the wild yak population.

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Additional Photos by Farhat Abbas (fabbs99) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1965 W: 2 N: 3987] (15681)
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