Yaks have been milked, bred and broken in the Himalayas and Tibet for so long that they no longer have the majesty of their wild brethren. And human beings have been so successful in this domestication business that wild yaks have not been seen in the Nepal Himalayas since the 1970s. That is until now.
A group of researchers from Friends of Nature were out to study the Grey Wolf and Snow Leopard in Humla in North-western Nepal when they chanced upon a Wild Yak. The photograph they took in June 2014 has now also been independently verified by the Natural History Museum and we can now add one more animal to Nepal’s checklist. And it is a big deal not only because Wild Yaks with their six foot frame and one tonne build is a real badass animal, but also because there are only about 15,000 of these guys left.
If you think you have seen it all during your treks in Everest or Annapurna, remember that most of the pack animals you saw were impotent dzokpyos, a crossbreed between yaks and cows. While a little bigger and more badass looking than the dzokpyos, the domesticated yaks are also nevertheless a puny creature compared to the wild ones which can measure up to 7ft at the shoulders. Perhaps consider undertaking the pristine Limi Valley Trek as your next adventure if you wish to see one up close. Oh we hear they also have a good population of Wild Asses there!!
PS: Do check out the wonderful conservation work Friends of Nature is doing especially with regards to Owls in Nepal. And if you are feel like supporting the work that these guys are doing, here is a link.