Animals & Attractions

We have a small herd of yak - Cuthbert, Benny, Colin and Beau. 


  • There are over 12 million domestic yaks in the world, while the wild yak (Bos mutus) population is thought to number much fewer 
  • Their dense undercoat of soft, closely-matted fur helps to protect them against cold and they can tolerate temperatures of -40° C
  • Both males and females have horns, which grow out of the sides of the head and curve upwards
  • Domestic yaks cannot "moo" - only grunt, hence their Latin name "Bos grunniens" which means "grunting ox"
  • Wild yaks are hunted commercially for their meat but also suffer from habitat loss, hybridisation with domestic yaks and disease. In China the wild yak population has been protected and the large Chang Tang Reserve provides real protection for the remaining wild yak


Like all the animals in our care our yak are amazing ambassadors for their relatives in the wild and help hundreds of thousands of people connect with nature every year. They encourage visitors to learn about the threats facing wildlife and the action they can take to help create a world where nature is protected, valued and loved.

As a wildlife conservation charity, we care for the animals here at the zoo and work to protect species at risk around the world. From providing expertise in genetics and veterinary health, to protecting wild places with local conservation partners, and even restoring threatened species to the wild, we are active where we are needed most.​

Find out more about RZSS conservation

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