(This is a re-post since for some unknown reason it was posted as a Page, not a post when I originally did it last Friday)
While I first went to Mongolia for the wildlife, after a trip or two I started to notice the domestic animals, what the Mongols call The Five Snouts: horses, sheep, goats, camels, and cattle, which include “real” cattle and also yaks.
Mongol yaks are found in the northern part of the country, up in the mountains. Like the other “snouts”, they provide a number of products and functions, including being trained for riding. There will be a painting of that at some point, which I saw in the Hangai Mountains in 2010.
Sometimes they are crossed with cattle to create a hybrid called a “khainag”, which are stronger than the pure yaks and more easily trained to pull carts. But they don’t really look the same. The heads are a somewhat different shape and the coat can be much shorter.
The pure yaks make me smile whenever I see them. The cow yak in the painting is one that I saw this past August at Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve.
Here’s a step-by step of “Checking You Out”: