We’ve all heard of Rudolf and his gang… but are these magical creatures real? Do Reindeer really exist?
Surprise!!! Yes they do!
Canada’s only herd lives right here in the North West Territories!
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Dunder and Blixem! To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall! Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all!” –The Night Before Christmas, Troy Sentinel
Here are Five fun Facts about this incredible herd of 3000+ Reindeer!
1. Reindeer and Caribou are cousins!
Reindeer and caribou are similar-looking animals, with vastly different lifestyles. Reindeer and caribou look different, but they are the same species. Caribou are large wild animals, which can be found above the tree line in arctic North America and Greenland. Reindeer are slightly smaller and are herded by many Arctic peoples in Europe, Asia, Russia and North America, including the Sami in Scandinavia and by the Inuit peoples in northern Canada.
2. This Canadian Herd was brought over from Alaska in 1929
The Inuvialuit of the Mackenzie Delta faced desperation. Caribou had dwindled. But Alaskan reindeer held the promise of plenty. And so, in 1929, a few men and a huge herd of 3000+ reindeer began the long and tough trek east to the Mackenzie Delta.
The Canadian government, seeing the success of the reindeer industry in Alaska, contacted the Lomen Brothers Reindeer Company with an unprecedented proposal to establish a Canadian herd. They settled on a price of $75 a head for the delivery of 3,000 animals to Reindeer Station on the east side of the Mackenzie River Delta. The drive was optimistically expected to be completed by 1931, in less than two years. It was to be called the Canadian Reindeer Project and actually took 5 years to complete. (Bown, 2016)
3. They’re insulated!
The hide of a reindeer is designed to trap air, providing them insulation in conditions to minus-60 Celsius and colder. That layer of air also makes them more buoyant – a big help when swimming wild rivers. (spectacular.nwt)
4. They are SUPER fast!
A few populations of North American reindeer travel over 3,100 miles per year, covering around 23 miles per day! At their top speed, these reindeer can run 50 miles per hour and swim at 6.2 miles per hour. Like many herd animals, the calves learn to walk fast—within only 90 minutes of being born, a baby reindeer can already run!!
5. REINDEER ARE THE ONLY MAMMALS THAT CAN SEE ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT
Just recently, researchers at the university college of London discovered that reindeer are the only mammals that can see ultraviolet light!
“While human vision cuts off at wavelengths around 400 nm, reindeers can see up to 320 nm. This range only covers the part of the spectrum we can see with the help of a black light, but it is still enough to help reindeer see things in the glowing white of the Arctic that they would otherwise miss. Things like white fur and urine are difficult, even impossible, for humans to see in the snow, but for reindeer, they show up in high contrast.” (Harness, 2016)
come meet these amazing creatures for yourself! herd 3000+ Reindeer by snowmobile this spring! Have a look at our awesome tour packages! click on the packages & Tours button above!