A yak or jak is a long-haired bovine belonging to the buffalo family. It lives in central Asia, especially in the Himalayas. The name comes from the language of Tibet. The animal is also called the Tibetan grunt ox.
Most yaks are farmed and owned by farmers or nomads. The few yaks in the wild are threatened with extinction. Males are over two meters tall in the wild, measured from the ground to the shoulders. The yaks on the farms are almost half that height.
The yak’s fur is long and thick. This is a great way for them to keep warm because they live in the mountains where it is cold. Other cattle could hardly survive there.
People keep yaks for their wool and milk. They use wool to make clothes and tents. Yaks can carry heavy loads and pull carts. That is why they are also used for fieldwork. After slaughtering, they provide meat, and leather is made from the skin. Also, people burn the dung of yaks for heating or to cook something over the fire. The dung is often the only fuel people have there. There aren’t any trees that high up in the mountains anymore.