Reindeer

Reindeer, also called Caribou in North America, are a circumpolar species inhabiting Northern Europe, Siberia and North America. There are 14 subspecies of which 2 are now extinct.

Reindeer are the only species of deer where both sexes grow and discard a pair of antlers every year. Males produce the largest antlers after the moose. Reindeer (or caribou) are smaller in their northern ranges and larger in the south.

Some subspecies migrate and others do not. The longest migration of any terrestrial animal is the 5 000 km (3 000 mi) yearly trek of the Woodland Caribou of Labrador and Ungava.

Their diet consists largely of lichens as well as the leaves of willow and birch trees. They are ruminants, which means they have four chambered stomachs like a cow.

Reindeer @ Safari Niagara

  • We have five Reindeer at Safari Niagara
  • The Reindeer paddock can be found next to the giraffes

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Atiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Genus: Rangifer
Species: R. tarandus

Did you know?

  • Male reindeer lose their antlers in November and December. Females do not lose theirs until the spring.
  • Reindeer hooves adapt to the seasons. They become sponge-like in the summer and in the winter shrink and tighten so they can break through ice to find food.