Where’s Rudolph?

Several years ago while backpacking in Europe I visited my friend Josefin in Sweden. She grew up in northern Sweden, above the Arctic Circle. And a special kind of deer are farmed in this area – reindeer. This past weekend I found these special animals at a Christmas market near Calgary, Alberta. They were a hit with young and old alike. Some of them even had names like Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen – sound familiar? But everyone’s favourite reindeer was nowhere to be found. Apparently he’s preparing for the busy Christmas season!

Comet having a snooze?
Blitzen chowing down on some grass?
Where’s Rudolph?

Here are some fun reindeer facts:

  • Reindeer are native to northern climates – found in northern regions of North America, Europe, Asia and Greenland.
  • Male and female reindeer grow antlers.
  • Antlers grow over the summer months – while they are growing antlers are covered in skin called velvet.
  • The diet of reindeer consists of grass, moss and lichen.
  • Reindeer prefer eating snow over drinking open water.
  • Reindeer don’t sweat, they lose heat through panting – like a dog.
  • Reindeer eyes are large in order to let in lots of light so they can see in the dark Arctic winter.

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