Animals;: Mammals from all over the world - (A golden by George S Fichter

By George S Fichter


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Six hun­ dred of these were herded onto a gov­ Musk-ox ernment reservation. There, fortunately, they bred and prospered. Small herds The yak and the musk-ox are two mem­ are kept today on a number of similarly bers of the cattle family that have adapted managed lands, and their numbers are to harsh , cold lands. The yak lives in the kept in check by controlled harvests. cold highlands of Tibet. These animals have been domesticated and are the main source of meat and milk for the people of Tibet.

Like other members of the cattle fam­ Other members of the cattle family ily, sheep and goats have hollow horns. are the agile chamois that live in the Alps They also chew cuds, which are balls of and the several kinds of wild sheep and partly digested food coughed up from a goats of North America and Europe. storage stomach, chewed at the animal's The aoudads, or Barbary sheep, live leisure, and then swallowed again to com­ in northern Africa. These long- bearded, plete the passage through the animal's long-homed sheep are often found in digestive tract.

It was the white hunter who whittled the bison herds into oblivion. Unlike the Indians, the white men used only portions of each animal killed. They favored the meaty, boneless humps, and they also liked the dark tongues. An experienced hunter might kill as many as a hundred animals in a day, but he left most of each carcass to rot on the prairie . Early in the 1 8 80's, after less than 50 years of hunting, most of it in a short period following the Civil War, the bison was facing extinction. From 60 million, their population had been reduced to an estimated 1 ,000 or so animals .

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