The Caribou, or Reindeer, is located in northern countries such as
Canada, Russia, Greenland, Finland, Norway and Sweden. It can also
be found in the state of Alaska.
The diet of the Caribou varies as the seasons change. In the
summertime, when vegetation is more plentiful, Caribou will feed on a
variety of plants including willow leaves. In the wintertime, Caribou will
use their hooves to dig through snow to get to moss and other lichens
that lie beneath the arctic surface.
Caribou are migratory animals and are known for mass migrations
across the tundra in search of food. Caribou are well adapted to living
in the tundra with thick fur and skin that enable them to enter frigid
rivers while migrating. The hooves of caribou are wide to assist
supporting it on surfaces such as mud and snow, and wide hooves will
also help the caribou to dig and swim.
Female Caribou will weigh about 200 pounds, and can weigh as little
as 180 pounds as adults. Males weigh about twice as much on
average but can weigh up to as much as 600 pounds. Caribou will
stand from 35 - 55 inches at the shoulder. Males and females both
have antlers and will shed their antlers at different times in the year,
older males losing theirs after the mating season and females losing
theirs in the summer.
The mating season, or rut, occurs in fall and the calving season occurs
in spring when the female will give birth to usually one calf.