EUROPE’S oldest Buddhist monastery in the Scottish Borders is desperately appealing for a new yak after their bull passed away.
Kagyu Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre, situated in Eskdalemuir, in Dumfries and Galloway, is looking to adopt one of the sacred animals.
The monastery launched a public appeal on their Facebook earlier this month after their male yak passed away.
They said: “Here in Samye Ling Monastery our Abbot, Lama Yeshe Rinpoche and all the Sangha and community were very saddened to lose our beloved beautiful father yak.
“Now, sadly, we have lost the father of the family and we’re asking if anyone – maybe a zoo or wildlife park – can offer us a yak.
“We will undertake to have a dedicated Sangha member to take care of him, to guide him and his family from one grazing ground to another, and to make sure he has plenty of grass and hay to eat and water to drink.
“We still have one female yak (or dri in Tibetan) so there may even be more calves in the future.
“With thanks to anyone who can help with this unusual request.”
Since the Monastery shared their post earlier this month, their post has been shared widely on Facebook in order to raise awareness of their appeal.
Race event Everest Marathon re-shared the post, saying: “Does anyone have a spare yak?
“Wonderful animals, as we know from the high mountain valleys below Everest, but there’s also room for one in southern Scotland.
“There is a yak house for shelter, and a dri who might be interested.”
Dean Curwood commented on the post saying: “I am so sorry for your loss.”
Speaking today Abbot of Samye Ling Lama Yeshe Rinpoche spoke of his appeal for a Yak and how he has approached a highland safari.
He said: “Someone many years ago gave us five yaks. Some of them were females and had some calves.
“But gradually and slowly, over the years, they died one by one.
“Now we’ve just lost the oldest yak, who had been there since the beginning.
“We have one young female remaining but we don’t have a bull.
“I come from Tibet and we have a few other Tibetans here too, we are very fond of our yaks.
“Samye Ling has the most beautiful temple in the middle of nowhere in rural Scotland.
“The surrounding countryside is very like the part of Tibet I come from, with rolling hills and cows and sheep and right now in the spring time there are little lambs too.
“It’s a very beautiful place.
“Our yaks are well cared for with one person assigned to look after them.
“They have fresh hay and water whenever they want, 24 or 25 acres of land is dedicated for their grazing and we move them around to different pastures from time to time so they always have plenty of food to eat.
“The yaks will be completely enclosed and won’t have access to other animals like farm animals.”
The Abbot continued: “There is a wildlife park in the north of Scotland and I’m told it is part of the organisation that also runs Edinburgh Zoo.
“I asked them if they could possibly give us a yak, or if they could loan us some females and a bull and then they could get some more yaks back from us.”
The yak is one of the most important domestic animals in Tibet, where it provides transport, meat, milk, fibre for spinning – even its dried dung is used as fuel.
Kagyu Samye is used as a residential community and is home to over 60 people including a mixture of monks and volunteers.
The monastery was established in 1967 by Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
Samye Ling was the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre to be established in the West and was named after Samye, the very first monastery in Tibet.