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Yak Doctor Plans Return to Khumbu

Posted on: March 25th, 2010 by admin

Dr. Lance Fox deworming yaks at Everest Base Camp in 2009.

Last spring AAC member and Wisconsin veterinarian Lance Fox taught 16-time Everest summiter Phurba Tashi Sherpa to deworm his 200 yaks, improving their health and increasing their yield of milk. (Fox also climbed Everest, summiting on May 21.) Encouraged by this success, Fox and Himalayan Experience leader Russell Brice are laying plans for expanded clinics in the Khumbu during the spring of 2011, during which up to 3,000 animals might be treated. Fox is raising money for this Healthy Yak effort through a Swiss-based foundation. Below, Fox explains the mission:

“Using vacation time next spring, my hope is to work in seven different villages in the Khumbu Valley which have been already identified as logical sites for the proposed ‘yak clinics,’ deworming approximately 3,000 head of yak. Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health has already graciously offered to donate enough Safe Guard dewormer to treat these animals. The goal will be to not only improve the health and performance of these beautiful, hard-working animals, but also to help the people of Nepal. They will be educated on the importance of good animal husbandry and why we do this in domesticated cattle around the globe. I foresee such a program expanding to help the many horses and dogs I saw throughout the valley as well.”

Instructions for donations (wiring money, PayPal, credit card acceptance, etc.) can be found at the following website: www.friendsofhumanity.ch. A specific web page for the Healthy Yak program is currently being built at this site. Meanwhile, if you make a donation, please send an email to me and to Russell Brice, stating the amount and the words ‘Healthy Yak.’ This way, we can track the donations as we make plans for the program. The funds will help offset the cost of transporting the dewormer up the Khumbu Valley, as well as other logistical support in Nepal.”

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