Authorities in northwest China's Qinghai Province have organized a large clean-up operation after 107 yak drowned in an icy river.
Ice suddenly broke when 180 yak were passing over a river in Gande County on Jan. 10. As a result, 107 of the yak fell into the icy river and drowned.
"We heard cracking sounds and the surface broke. We were very upset," said Tsora, one of the herders. The mass drowning caused direct economic losses of 642,000 yuan (about 99,400 U.S. dollars).
To reduce the losses, a operation was organized the next day with participation of more than 300 people. Machinery including an excavator, was dispatched to the scene from the provincial capital of Xining.
Thirty-five drowned yaks were pulled out of the river and were bought by local residents. The local government has offered compensation to the herders' households.
With a population of 36,000, Gande is a poverty-stricken county.