lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

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.

Yak, Dennis Jarvis

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

yaks reside,


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.


  1. Cute poem! The yak does look like a cross between cattle and bison. It’s interesting that they can’t live at lower altitudes.
    It’s terrible about the earthquake. What a horrible tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lori. It is indeed, and so difficult for people to get to the tiny, stricken villages because of the mountainous territory.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh this is an great poem and so uplifting at the end:) I like Yaks because of their name:) They do look like Buffalo. I hope the people can get all the help they need


    • Thank you! So do I – it’s very sad, people without much in the first place, I was imagining last night how terrible it would be living under a tent in the rain, with no water, having just lost my house and probably friends and relatives, with a young baby.


  3. A very thoughtful update to your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such sturdy creatures – I would imagine some of those poor Nepalese would appreciate having a yak to keep them warm right now.


    • Some of them will I’m sure, the ones in high mountain regions, if they haven’t also been lost.


  5. It was interesting to learn about the yak. I agree, they do resemble bison. I saw a load of bison when I vacationed at Yellowstone National Park. I also feel for those affected by the earthquake – I hope and pray that they get the help they need to rebuild.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Megan! Hopefully enough people will contribute. Nothing will replace those lost, or, sadly, the ancient buildings and monuments.


  6. What a lovely poem. Another blogger has the Yak for today too. She and I have had the same animal only twice, which I thought was great. The Yak has a nice fur coat to keep him warm. There’s another blog on animals I saw, but can’t recall the address.
    Yes, that earthquake was a tragedy. It sure changes all the people’s lives. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. allisonwrites93

    Beautiful poem, and love the sentiments as well. Are all your poems this month animal-themed? I love that idea, and can’t wait to read back posts and see what you came up with!

    – Allison


    • Hello Alison, thank you. They are all animals, and all poems – I take the poems off though about a month after to work on anything worth saving, and just leave the facts.


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