Thursday, May 3, 2012

Caribou



On this third day of the A to Z tour of Alaska, I thought you might want to know about the caribou. I have no caribou sightings in Cold Justice. There just wasn't space to put everything Alaskan in the book, but the animal is such a part of region that I wanted to cover them on our tour.

Caribou, also known as reindeer, are found not only in Alaska, but also in Europe, Asia, and Greenland. In the summer, caribou herds migrate north and become one of the world's great large-animal migrations. They spend the summer feeding on tundra grasses and plants. And did you know that one adult caribou can eat 12 pounds of food each day? Now that's a lot of roughage.

Another interesting fact about their migration is the females leave several weeks before the males. And the males are responsible to bring the yearling calves from the previous birthing season with them when they migrate. How many Moms would like to do that? Another interesting tidbit, both females and males have antlers, though only a few females have them.  Still, let's hear it for equal opportunity caribou!

At the sign of the first snow, the caribou migrate south. In a year they travel as many as 1,600 miles. They're really quite beautiful and amazing creatures. Is it any wonder that Santa uses them to pull his sleigh?

Here's a short clip of a caribou herd migrating. Imagine how awesome it would be to see such a sight in person.





I'm off to the LDStorymakers conference today. I'm helping with Boot Camp. I meet so many wonderful writers there. If you're attending, please come say hi.

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