It's Not Every Day a Yak is Born in Paris...
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's Not Every Day a Yak is Born in Paris...

Gettin' clean...
It’s not a metaphor.  Literally, a yak was born.  I arrived just as the mother, umbilical cord still dangling, was cleaning her newborn yak, just minutes after its birth.  Disgusting?  Yes.  Magical?  Eh, kind of.

It was just another day strolling through the zoo at the Jardin des Plantes, the second oldest zoo in the world and the home to all of the animals from Versailles after the Revolution.  It also housed Christmas dinner for the Parisians during the Prussian Siege of 1871, since many of the animals were slaughtered and cooked.  It’s nothing like the zoos in Philadelphia or San Diego, but it serves as a tiny “natural” oasis in the middle of an otherwise bustling urban jungle.  It’s a children’s playground of kangaroos, monkeys, and of course the beloved yaks. 

Passersby didn’t really pay too much attention to the newly birthed baby, but I gawked alongside zookeepers, video cameras in hand as the mother cleaned off her newborn and then slowly nudged the infant towards its first step.  It was a true family moment, even though the father yak was too busy eating to help clean off the baby.

A first step...
It’s one of those things that you never imagine happening in a place like Paris.  Granted, Edith Piaf was allegedly born under a street lamp on rue de Belleville, but I’m sure no one stopped to watch.  With a glittering Eiffel Tower, centuries of pristine art in the Louvre, and elegant avenues full of Chanel and Givenchy, who would ever imagine being awed by the removal of placental fluids from a newborn beast of burden?




I certainly never thought that birthing yaks would constitute an attraction, but there I was.  I guess you just never know…

They spelled "Yak" wrong...



1 comment:

  1. for some reason, "baby mine" began to play in my head...

    ReplyDelete