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Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Class Information
Class Mammalia
Order Information
Order Artiodactyla
Sub-order Ruminantia
Family Information
Family Bovidae
Sub-family Bovinae
Genus Information
Genus Bos
Species Information
Species B. grunniens grunniens
B. grunniens mutus
Population statistics

A yak is a hardy shaggy bovine ruminant mammal commonly domesticated in Tibet and neighboring areas of central Asia.

Yaks are extremely useful animals:

  • They work as beasts of burden, carrying substantial burdens at high altitudes where horses cannot survive. Yaks are extremely sure-footed.
  • They give good yields of milk which is made into cheese and butter, the latter of which is an essential additive in the tea enjoyed in Tibet.
  • Their meat, which is prized for its fatty texture, is eaten and rendered into oil as a source of illumination.
  • Their hide, hair and horns are used for making clothing, constructing yurts, and many other purposes.

Domestic yaks commonly wear bells round their necks, to facilitate locating them, keeping herds together, and to distinguish them from wild yaks.

A hybrid between the yak and the domestic cow, the dzho (or zo), is also common in the same regions.