The calf ox is a rare animal from the past that survived the mammoth for 7,000 years.
A unique animal from the Ice Age, which lived over mammoths for 7,000 years, settled in Yamal. For 23 years, calf oxen have been living peacefully and even giving birth in the Polyarno-Uralsky Nature Park, which covers an area of over 300,000 hectares in the northwestern part of the Ural region. It is the largest ox calf nursery in the world today. There are three similar ones in Canada and Alaska, but all are significantly lower than the Russian in terms of number of animals.
The habitat of ox calf in Russia since 2018
Calf oxen were transported to Yamal in 1997 from Taimyr as part of the YNAO re-climate program for these animals. An additional goal of the program was to create an “ice age park” for recreational purposes. These rare animals, which have inhabited our planet for more than 1 million years, are supposed to become an attractive destination for tourists from all over the world.
So what do we know about these amazing animals mentioned in the Red Book?
Interesting facts about calf oxen.
From the name itself it follows that the ox calf combines the characteristics of a bull and a sheep: the strong, incredibly hard horns are the bulls’ legacy, but the short tail, hidden in thick fur, inherited the animal from rams. And although externally the ox calf looks more like a bull, its closest relative is the mountain sheep.
The hair of the muskrat is thick and long, in places it can reach up to one meter. It completely covers the animal, with the exception of the nose, lips, horns and hooves. A unique feature of the ox calf is a soft substrate – giviot, which is thinner than cashmere, but 8 times warmer than sheep wool. Thanks to this calf ox can easily withstand extremely low temperatures up to -60 degrees. This feature made the ox calf fur extremely valuable – about 5 thousand rubles will have to be paid for a few grams.
Muscovites in Yamal
The ox calf is herbivorous. It feeds mainly on grasses, weeds, mosses, lichens. However, due to the residential area, food extraction is somewhat difficult, because in the northern lands most of the year the land is covered by dense snow cover and food has to be literally dug from below. this, sometimes exceeding half a meter of snow. Dried plants can not supply the animal’s body with a sufficient amount of the necessary macro- and micro-minerals, so calf oxen often visit the natural salt lollipops.
The body weight of a calf ox can reach from 300 to 650 kg, depending on the sex and the habitat. These are very strong animals – 20% of their mass is muscle. However, such dimensions do not prevent calf oxen from moving easily over mountains and rocks and running at speeds of up to 60 km per hour.
Ox herd calf
The ox calf is an unusual harem animal, with a strong male and a group of females with young. Often the group consists of 10-20 people. However, sometimes there are purely “bachelor companies”, even less often – unmarried adult men.
The ox calf has few enemies, but they are extremely dangerous and powerful – they are bears, wolves and, sad as it sounds – a human. If the animals do not have a chance to escape the danger, they defend themselves vigorously, crammed into a circle, in the center of which are females and calves, and large males abroad. They take turns, attacking the enemy. With one blow of its powerful horns, the musk ox can kill a wolf and seriously injure a bear. However, this method of self-defense can not stop a person and immobile animals that have been dragged into a close group is a great target for hunters. In the past, entire herds were destroyed in this way, until the ox was on the verge of extinction and fell into the number of specially protected species, the shooting of which is strictly prohibited.
Once upon a time, there were two species of these unique animals on Earth, but about 130 years ago, one completely died and disappeared for humanity and the other was on the verge of extinction. And today the main task is to keep the rest, so that in the future a safari in the Yamal Natural Park with the pristine beauty of the Polar Urals and the rarest animals of the Ice Age becomes not only a beautiful dream, but also an amazing opportunity. for thousands of tourists to spend unforgettable holidays at the End of the World.