Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Alaskan Reindeer

Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are also known as reindeer. Some people make the distinction based on whether or not the animal is domesticated with reindeer being the domesticated variety. However, they are essentially the same animal with two different names. Caribou are fairly common in Alaska and we saw several both free ranging and domesticated, during our recent trip to Denali National Park. For more information see the Wikipedia article on Caribou. The Native American population relied on the caribou for many of life's necessities. All parts of the animal were used for food, clothing, or other uses. This caribou's antlers are in the velvet stage and will soon lose its covering and become hard bone.

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