Yak is a close relative of buffalo and bison. Yaks are divided into two species: domestic and wild. These two vary in size and appearance. Wild yaks inhabit alpine meadows and steppes of central Asia. Yaks are very appreciated because of their fur, fatty milk, meat and dung (which is utilized as a fuel). Unfortunately, number of wild yaks is decreased due to habitat loss and extreme hunting. Wild yaks are listed as vulnerable.
The male wild yak can weigh up to 2200 pounds and is 6.5 feet high at the shoulder. Females weigh about a third of that. Their horns can be 20 (females) to 40 (males) inches long and grow out from the sides of the head and curve upward. Their tails are bushy.
Did you know?
– Yak polo, played on yaks instead of horses, was pioneered in Mongolia a decade ago.
– In Mongolia yak milk is fermented in a leather pouch and distilled as a “milk wine” called archi.