Why You Shouldn’t Miss the Caribou Family
The Caribou, also called caribou in North America and caribou-troungen in Canadian provinces, is an arctic species of large deer with sub-arctic distribution, usually resident in tundra and arctic grasslands of boreal, sub-arctic, and arctic North America. It is fed by the sea and hunted by the Canadian Inuit. This species has low population densities, but is considered abundant with some individuals numbering in the hundreds. The winter is a time of migration and hunting, with females tending to give birth around June and July. This species is listed as endangered in its present location.
Life cycle. – Caribou give birth to one to five young during the summer months. These become strong and grow into adulthood in September or October, before moving on to their winter migrations. A pair will stay together for the year, although mates may join them in the spring. Mother will keep her young in a pouch made from fur, a combination of fur and snow until they are old enough to go out onto the sea, following the mother. They return to their birth site a few days later Caribou.
Dendrobatics. – Caribou are swift, powerful swimmers, capable of moving at speeds of up to 45 km per hour on land and more than twice that on water. Their tongues are also long, allowing them to take in all the sights that pass. During the annual mating season (often celebrated in July), a calf will be born in the late spring and left on the mom’s maternity grounds until it is weaned by June. After that, the father goes back inland to look after the baby, leaving the two energetic, curious mothers to hunt and feed by day and return to the sea for the next season.
Amazingly, the young never leave their mother’s side. In fact, they stay with her through the year, sleeping in burrows, hollow trees or rocky areas close to the brambles. While it is not easy for the calf to learn how to swim, he must follow his mother’s example and stay near. When he is old enough to try out for himself, he must first beat a path to a den, throw stones at it until he knocks it down and then drag it to safety outside the burrow. If he does not do this, the calf will cry and walk off, ending up alone and orphaned – unless he is rescued by another caribou.
Their lovable nature has given them the name “sleepy”, which explains why they sometimes refuse to be fed while awake. They eat only at night, so their digestive tracts are always clean and free of blockages and sores. It takes longer for them to heal, but once they are fully healed, they stay alert, strong and energetic. Their large, strong legs enable them to carry their young and protect them from predators, so they seldom slow down when their herd is moving to a new location.
Caribou herds are generally found in cool environments, such as forests, tundra regions and coastal areas. During the fall mating season, the female calves will travel long distances to find receptive caribou mothers. This is often a long process, as the young need to be brought up in relative comfort and safety until they can fend for themselves. Once they have the stability and habit of living with their mothers, they can be taken anywhere – with their father whenever they need to. There are no subspecies of caribou and each has its own habitat, behaviour, food, and habits.