At least 300 Himalayan yaks starve to death in India

Officials in the northeastern state of Sikkim said they received the first distress call from around 50 people cut off in the remote Mukuthang Valley in December.

Published: 12th May 2019 04:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2019 04:11 PM   |  A+A-

This photograph taken on April 26, 2018, shows Yaks during a snowfall at Phireche village in the Everest region, some 140kms northeast of Nepal's capital Kathmandu. (File | AFP)

This photograph taken on April 26, 2018, shows Yaks during a snowfall at Phireche village in the Everest region, some 140kms northeast of Nepal's capital Kathmandu. (File | AFP)

By AFP

NEW DELHI: Indian officials Sunday said that at least 300 yaks starved to death in a remote Himalayan valley after a bout of unusually harsh winter weather.

Officials in the northeastern state of Sikkim said they received the first distress call from around 50 people cut off in the remote Mukuthang Valley in December.

Following very heavy snowfall the residents asked for help providing feed for their herd of around 1,500 yaks, a source of local milk, milk products, transportation and wool. 

"We made several attempts to reach them but couldn't. No roads or air transport could reach there because of the weather conditions. We reached there now and have already confirmed at least 300 yak deaths," local official Raj Kumar Yadav told AFP.

"The local families say that 500 yaks have died because of starvation. We are trying to confirm that. Around 50 yaks are also receiving urgent medical attention," Yadav added. 

Yaks are one of the mainstays of the region's tourism-dependent economy.

A few yaks die because of extreme conditions in the region each year, but the authorities say that this year's toll is unprecedented.

"The weather was too harsh. One heavy spell of snowfall in December was followed by even more snowfall and even the grass didn't grow. They died because of both cold and starvation," Yadav added. 

The authorities are making arrangements to bury the dead yaks and assist local families in the valley, around 70 kilometres (45 miles) from state capital Gangtok.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp