Tibetan yaks arrive at Orana Park

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 12:51 21/08/2014
Orana Park yaks
Kirk Hargreaves/Fairfax NZ

NEW ADDITIONS: Orana Wildlife Park's five yaks were put on public display this morning.

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Orana Wildlife Park has gained five ''shaggy'' additions with the arrival of its first Tibetan yaks.

The animals arrived at the park yesterday and were put on public display this morning.

Exotic mammals head keeper Rob Clifford said Tibetan yaks were classified as vulnerable as their populations were declining due to poaching and habitat loss.

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''They are really cool, unusual animals with impressive horns and a shaggy coat.''

The five yaks - a male and four females - came from a private breeder in Nelson and were on long-term loan to Orana Park. 

''Our aim in holding them is to initially raise awareness on the plight of these interesting creatures,'' Clifford said.

Orana spokesman Nathan Hawke said the park hoped to breed from the yaks soon using artificial insemination (AI). 

''We are investigating options at present. As we have a steer we will need to AI the females, so there is a process to follow and this has commenced,'' he said. 

Tibetan yaks are naturally found in the Himalayas, where they are used for carting equipment and providing milk, butter and cheese to the Tibetan people.

Their butter also fuels lamps for lighting.

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- The Press

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