In keeping with the Christmas season, here are a few facts we dug up about those creatures that will be pulling Santa’s sleigh on Saturday night.
•The reindeer, or the caribou as it is known in North America, is a common deer species that thrives in the cold climes of the Arctic and sub-Arctic. Large populations are found in Alaska and Canada as well as Finland, Norway and other countries.
•Though mythology has given them the ability to fly, there is some accuracy to the Christmas descriptions. In many countries, domesticated reindeer are frequently used to pull sleighs. And they are fast runners. They can run up to 40 mph.
•Both sexes of reindeer grow antlers.
•The North American caribou is a traveler. Wildlife biologists say the herds can migrate up to 3,500 miles a year.
•Don’t let the kids read this part. In some Scandinavian countries, reindeer have been hunted since the Ice Age. They are valued for their meat.
•Reindeer were first attached to Santa Claus in the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”
source: Kansas City Star