Y is for Yak
Today is Y for Yak, scheduled a while ago. I would like to dedicate it to the memory of those who have died and to all those suffering in and around this breathtakingly beautiful area right now due to the devastating earthquakes.
This image of a Tibetan domestic yak was taken by Dennis Jarvis, on Flikr.
Scientists are not certain of the closest relatives of Yaks – they are placed with bovids, related to all cattle, but DNA shows that they are more closely related to bison.
They live at high altitudes in the Himalayas and Tibet, and have larger hearts than cattle, retaining some foetal haemoglobin throughout their life which means they are better able to obtain oxygen from the thin, mountain air.
They also have very thick coats and woolly undercoats, and exude a type of fat that makes the undercoat more insulating.
These adaptations mean that they cannot live at lower altitudes – they overheat and will die.
Most yaks have been domesticated – they are intelligent and very trainable as well as being friendly. But there remain a few populations of ever-decreasing wild yak.
Here is my yak poem:
In storms of snow
on mountain sides
is where the powerful
they graze in herds
where food is sparse,
sustained on mosses,
sedge, herbs, grass.
Their coat is long,
their hearts large-size,
a genial nature
shines their eyes,
they’re creatures made
for height, and why
they live the high-life
in the sky!
Poem © Liz Brownlee
If you would like to donate to a charity to support those hit by the devastating earthquake, here are three links. If you live in the UK you can claim tax back on your donation for the charity.
Or text SUPPORT to 700000.
This next charity is in dollars, it is run by friends of a friend, all the money raised goes to the work, they are already in Kathmandu:
Photo © Dennis Jarvis
Information from Wiki.
If you would like to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge blog, please click here.
If you’d like to read about or buy my book, Animal Magic, full of animal poems and fascinating facts, click here.