SupChina Photo Contest: Tibetan Yak, by Kyle Obermann - SupChina
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SupChina Photo Contest: Tibetan Yak, by Kyle Obermann

Editor’s note: Kyle Obermann’s photo (click to enlarge) is a 2nd Prize winner in the SupChina Photo Contest. All 10 winning photos will be posted one per day beginning today, with the Grand Prize winner unveiled on Friday, September 21. Keep an eye on this space for all the winners.


Traditional Tibetan Buddhist families in southeast Qinghai tend to only kill two to three yaks a year for meat. When they do, it is akin to a small, holy ceremony: holy water is poured on the yak before it is suffocated to death — Tibetans prefer not to see blood from a dying animal. Only men are able to see the death. Then, afterwards, field dressing the animal becomes an entire family affair. Almost no part is wasted.

(Photo taken in September 2017)

Kyle Obermann

Kyle Obermann is an environmental photographer based in China. He focuses on documenting the relationship between people and nature alongside promoting stories of indigenous conservation groups protecting China’s last, great wildernesses. His exploration in western China is sponsored by The North Face, and he is also a winner of the WildChina Explorer Grant (2017). His photography in China has been featured by The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, The Explorer's Club, The Royal Geographic Society, Chinese National Geography, The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Weibo Environment & Philanthropy, The Paper (澎湃新闻), ShanShui Conservation Center, and many more. You can follow his work on Instagram @kyleobermann or on his website: www.kyleobermannphotography.com

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