|Domesticated Herd in Tibet|
The Yak is said to have diverged from typical cattle some 1 to 5 million years ago. The Wild Yak is amongst the largest bovine, second only to the Gaur in shoulder height. Wild Yaks stand about 5-7 ft. tall at the shoulder and weigh 670-2,200 lbs. The female wild Yak is about 1/3 the weight and 30% smaller in height. The domesticated Yak is much smaller with males weighing 770-1,300 lbs and females weighing in around 500-600 lbs). You can differentiate a male from a female by their horns. Male horns are generally darker in color and sweep out to the side, whereas female horns are a bit lighter in color, smaller, and have an upright shape. A male is called a Yak and a female a Nak. So, no--There is NO such thing as Yak Cheese-- Its NAK Cheese!
Yaks are generally friendly in nature and are easily domesticated and trained. They are usually not hostile creatures but mothers, as with any animals, can be very protective of her young and even charge if she feels there is a threat.
|Tibetan Woman with her Yak|
|Mt. Kailash Yak Caravan|
If you're out on the trail--make sure to stock up on local NAK cheese and try the infamous Tibetan Butter Tea. You'll see why the locals worship this animal--for giving to them in such abundance.