My favorite animal is the Yak! a member of the bovine family, were domesticated in Tibet during the first millennium, B.C., and today, more than 12 million of them can be found in five Himalayan countries where they inhabit steppes of 15,000 feet. Known as the "grunting ox", they can climb as high as 20,000 feet, and yet they can be successfully raised at very low elevations. Their respiratory rate increases with heat and low altitudes, decreases at higher, cooler climates to help them adjust. North American yaks are divided into five types: black, trims (black with some white trim), royal (black and white pied with a white blaze face), golden, and woolly. With their horse-like tail and long skirts, these hardy animals require no special permits, and are compatible with existing agricultural operations. Two year-old yaks breed in the fall, calve 257 days later in the spring, are mature in 4-6 years, and live an average of 25 years.