Beating out the yellow-eyed penguin since I’ve already doodlewashed a penguin, and a Yorkshire Terrier because that seemed too specific, we have this yak. Other than being the only animal that readily comes to mind for the letter “Y,” I really knew nothing about yaks. But apparently there are two types, one being domesticated and the other being wild. The domesticated ones are smaller and not quite as shaggy as their wild cousins.
So what’s so interesting about a yak? Well, they are pretty valuable to those who domesticated them in Tibet and parts of China for their milk, wool, meat, and surprisingly, their poop. Apparently yak poop is used as fuel in the high mountains of the Himalayas, since the government protects the few wooded areas that exist there. Sherpa villagers regularly collect the stuff on the trails, dry it out and make poop patties that they use in small iron stoves. It’s thankfully not stinky and can achieve really high temperatures.
If playing with yak poop isn’t your thing, then you might consider adding a little yak cheese to your diet. Because of the grasses and shrubs that they eat, versus industrial grains of other milk-making creatures, their cheese contains very high levels of healthy fats and Omega-3 fatty-acids. And unlike most food that’s good for you, yak cheese apparently tastes good. Those are some little tidbits I was able to grab quickly, but feel free to do your own research if you’re a yak enthusiast. Tomorrow we have the last letter in our alphabet! And then stay tuned for some special Leap Day reveals!