Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's a dzo. It's a what?



A
dzo ("zo"). That would be a creature that is part yak and part domesticated cow. True yaks can only survive in higher elevations but they make great pack animals and their milk is of a higher fat than that of the cow. So, for Mongolians, the best of both worlds is the bybridized dzo. Properly speaking, the creature is referred to as a "khainag" in Mongolian but dzo is easier to say so that's the term I used.



Dzos were everywhere....pretty much replacing cows. There were black dzos, gray dzos, brown dzos and mottled colored dzos. No matter the color though, I have to say it, with their disproportionally small neck, oddly humped back and fringed belly, they are just about the ugliest cow like creature I have ever seen.

Like cows, they tend to be a bit skittish around people. Evan and I tried to sneak up on a small herd just to take a photos and the only way we could do it was tread stealthily. I did manage to capture a few shots.



As I said, not the prettiest animal in the world but the Mongolians couldn't survive without them so ugly or not, they are are appreciated!