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The 5 Animals

Our first stop was a camel herd. There was no particular destination, since they are nomadic, but they are not difficult to find. Within 15 minutes we ran across a group of some 15 or so, most of whom took one look at the human herd getting out of the cars and started walking away in a dignified manner. A mother and 2-year-old remained, allowing the children camel rides and pictures.

As we were here a Mongolian stopped by on his horse, and the children had a turn riding it as well. He then took off in the direction of Sainshand, standing in his stirrups as is the Mongolian custom.

From there we continued south for about 5 minutes until we ran across a herd of sheep and goats, and stopped to see them. Mongolians speak of the "5 animals", referring to the important types for them economically: camels, horses, sheep, goats, and cows (including yaks). From this one place we were able to observe all 5. East Gobi Province has a human population of about 50,000, but more than 1,000,000 of the "5 animals".

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