FAIRBANKS — First it was Earl the great gray owl who flew the coop.
Now it’s Ben and Bart, a pair of young yaks who went missing from their home near 15 Mile Chena Hot Springs Road on Sunday.
Owner Cat Whitney said the yearling yaks are most likely “perplexed.”
“Mentally, yaks don’t mature until they’re about 4 years old, so they’re like 7- or 8-year-old kids wandering around in the woods,” she said.
The yearling yaks escaped from their fenced-in area Sunday morning, Whitney said. She suspects her dog, Alva, a 3-year-old elkhound cross who likes to pal around with the yaks, opened the gate latch and herded them out of the pen.
“It’s a long story,” Whitney said.
The yaks, accompanied by Alva, were last seen by some children at the end of Pearl Drive on the north side of Chena Hot Springs Road on Sunday night. Whitney’s farm is on the south side of the road. Alva returned home Monday night, but there was no sign of the yaks.
“My sense is they’re in the woods on the other side of the road eating buds and leaves,” she said.
The two yaks are brown and shaggy and have small “starter” horns, said Whitney, who has owned them since they were five days old. Both animals are skittish and will probably run if they are approached by anyone besides her, she said.
If Whitney can find them, she’s confident she can corral them.
“I can shake a little bucket with barley in it and they’ll follow me anywhere,” she said.
Anyone who spots the yaks is asked to call Whitney at 750-5109.
Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587.