A hiker in western Massachusetts encountered a hazard more commonly associated with the Himalayas: aggressive yaks. Police say the three animals, who had escaped from a private owner a few days earlier, charged and chased the hiker Wednesday in the Bear Hole Reservoir hiking area near West Springfield, the New York Daily News reports. After the hiker came too close, "one put its head down, snorted and then charged with all three giving chase back onto the yellow trail towards the glen of the old restaurant," West Springfield Animal Control said. The hiker escaped without injury and called police.
Authorities warned the public that yaks—which can weigh up to 1,300 pounds—were loose in the area and should not be approached. Police, working with West Springfield Control and the Department of Public Works, managed to round up the runway yaks Thursday morning, MassLive.com reports. They were returned to a local alpaca farm, where they had escaped from their pen. "The yaks have been corralled!!! Thanks to West Springfield Animal Control, West Springfield Police Department and our DPW, it is now safe to stroll through Bearhole," West Springfield Mayor Will Reichert said in a Facebook post. "Just mind the bears." (Read more Massachusetts stories.)