You can take the yak out of Tibet…

Do yak die at low altitude? When I visited Tibet, I was told that they did, and that the yak you see in zoos are all cross-breeds. Yak genetics have adapted to the high altitude, they said. You can’t take them down, they said.

It sounded plausible, and I thought it was a neat fact to include in a post here. I just needed a reference.

But when I searched, I didn’t find any convincing evidence that yak can’t survive low altitudes. In fact, the more I searched, the less I knew what a yak even was. I found info about wild yaks and domesticated yaks, and some notes about cross-breeds. Among the muddled facts, I found two things that everyone seems to agree on: Bos grunniens is a domesticated yak, and it exists in low altitude zoos far away from Tibet.

Domestic yak walking out of a Tibetan zoo and nibbling on a plant.

Continue reading “You can take the yak out of Tibet…”

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