Hiker in rural Massachusetts reports being attacked by rampaging yaks. It was no joke

The three rampaging yaks that kept a community in Massachusetts on edge this week.
The three rampaging yaks that kept a community in Massachusetts on edge this week. West Springfield Environmental Committee photo

A hiker in Massachusetts who reported being charged by rampaging horned yaks was not hallucinating.

Wildlife officials in West Springfield confirmed a trio of yaks was on the run and had perpetrated an attack on someone who got too close near the Bear Hole Reservoir dam.

Pets, joggers and hikers were warned “they could still be out there and are NOT approachable.”

It took almost a day to capture the ox-like animals, which are native to Mongolia and Nepal in Asia.

“It is now safe to stroll through Bear Hole,” West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt announced on Facebook.

West Springfield Animal Control officials rounded up the animals Thursday morning, but didn’t give details. Yaks can weigh up to 1,300 pounds. Town officials posted photos of the yaks standing in someone’s yard, looking guilty.

The “yak attack in Bear Hole” occurred shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday, near the Bear Hole dam, according to the West Springfield Environmental Committee.

Someone who tried approaching the yaks watched in disbelief as “one put its head down, snorted and then charged with all three giving chase,” said a Facebook post.

The hiker’s name was not released and officials did not say if any one was injured.

“Bear Hole is a place where you never know what you could encounter. Yaks are a first,” committee officials added on Facebook.

The yaks had escaped from nearby Westfield, and were returned to the owner after capture, officials said.

How they got loose was not explained.

Social media was, of course, tickled by the affair.

“West Springfield is far more exciting now than when I lived there,” posted Krista Schutt Jenkins on Facebook. “What next? Dragons?

“Still waiting for kangaroos!” said Dan Chraplak.

“I don’t mean to brag, but I saw a mermaid just relaxing in the water in Bear Hole a few weeks ago,” added Robert Charland.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer