Caribou, also known as reindeer, are masters of survival in extreme conditions. With their specialized hooves acting as snowshoes, they trek thousands of miles each year in search of food and breeding grounds. These epic migrations showcase their adaptability and determination in the face of harsh climates.
Caribou are the only species of deer where both males and females have antlers. Though males shed their antlers after the breeding season, females retain theirs as protection during the long winter months. Caribou also has an impressive sense of smell. Their large and specialized nasal passages help them detect predators, sniff out food beneath layers of snow, and navigate vast landscapes during their incredible journeys. With their thick coats and social herds, caribou are a symbol of resilience and unity in the face of challenges.
Deep in the Arctic regions of Scandinavia, Russia, Canada, and Alaska, caribou are farmed as a sustainable source of food, income, antler harvesting, fur, and milk production. They are even used as draft animals and transportation. Caribou herds are managed in enclosed areas or semi-wild settings, where farmers provide care, feed, and veterinary attention. Selective breeding may be practiced to enhance desired traits, including antler size, meat quality, and adaptation to specific environments.