Reindeer or caribou are deer native to arctic, tundra, and evergreen forest regions of northern Europe, Asia, and North America. They are the only species of deer in which the male and the female both possess antlers. The antlers are critical for the species to develop dominance within the herd and to gain access to mosses and lichens for foraging under the ice and snow. Reindeer have been domesticated by humans for the production of meat and fur as well as for pulling or carrying loads.
Although large herds of reindeer still exist, the species is considered vulnerable in the wild due to a variety of threats including parasites associated with the expansion of white-tailed deer into the reindeer’s range, as well as changing weather patterns that produce more freezing rain than snow and cover vegetation with several inches of ice that is too difficult for the reindeer to dig through for grazing.
We take care of two reindeer cows at the zoo, Princess and Dancer. We feed them special reindeer pellet, oats, beet pulp, and sweet feed. They enjoy puzzle feeders, jolly balls, lead training with special leaf-eater biscuit treats, brushes to rub against, and lots of attention. If you’d like to meet the reindeer and learn more about them you can schedule an animal encounter.
Adoption Information Coming Soon.