Three runaway yaks found in West Springfield

Hampden County

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The West Springfield Animal Control, West Springfield Police Department, and the DPW found and contained three missing yaks on Thursday.

The Yaks are safe, healthy and are returning home to Westfield, but not before they surprised some hikers in West Springfield Wednesday night.

People who hike the Bear Hole Reservoir are used to seeing wildlife. It’s not unusual to see bears, deer, and rodents at the Reservoir. But on Wednesday, some Bear Hole hikers were surprised to see three yaks on the trail.

According to the West Springfield Environmental Committee on Facebook, the hikers called police after the three yaks chased them down a trail Wednesday night.

“It was kind of crazy I mean you always hear about bears being around here but Yaks,” said Haley Sullivan of Easthampton. “But I was kind of excited to come run here see if we ran into them or anything.”

Yaks are native to Asia, and descendants of the long-haired, horned animals have been domesticated and can weigh up to 1,200 pounds. But the three Yaks spotted in Bear Hole live on a farm in Westfield off East Mountain Road.

West Springfield officers were sent on mountain bicycles patrolling Bear Hole in efforts to locate the yaks Thursday morning.

“The owner spotted them in Bear Hole and called us and the animal control officer, the owner and two patrolmen with cruisers were able to corral the Yaks and get them into a shed,” Sgt. Joseph LaFrance told 22News.

The Yaks were kept in a large shed and provided food and water until a trailer came to safely bring them back to Westfield.

The West Springfield Animal Control posted an update on Facebook at approximately 11:00 a.m. Thursday, ” The Yaks have been contained..but please keep your dogs on leash in Bear Hole! 🤣 “

It’s still unclear how the Yaks got away from their farm in Westfield, but they’re home safe.

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