The Caribou

The Caribou is a beautiful, majestic animal that is one of the most Endangered Species of Endangered animals in the world. It is a graceful animal with a head like that of a walrus that stands just over two meters tall. It has a body that is very broad and stocky with soft fluff covered tights and tufted ears that are black with white ears. Its nose is long and its lips are dark. It has a thick, bushy trunk and a pair of teardrop almond shaped eyes.

DescriptionThe reindeer, sometimes also called caribou in North America, is a species of animal with arboreal distribution, native only to boreal, sub-arctic, tundra and some mountain regions of north-central Europe, Asia, and North America. This includes both migratory and sedentary populations. Mature adults reach a height of about 25 feet. In the winter they travel in search of food such as berries in the berry fields, small trees on cliffs or wooded areas along riverbanks. In the spring they go back to their permanent grounds.

Diet The diet of the Caribou is largely dependent on the season. During the fall they eat a variety of trees and buds, whereas during the winter they feed on leaves and shoots. Caribou usually feed twice a day but in the summer they eat mostly during midday.

Life Cycle The life cycle of the Caribou is divided into two stages. After an extended period of time without breeding the mother Caribou gives birth to up to eight babies. These are born in the spring and remain in the birth place for the next twelve months.

A lactating mother makes up the first generation of Caribou. She gives birth to several sows, which are followed by pups that stay with their mother until they are weaned by an older sister. When they reach about two years of age they leave the birth site and make their way towards the arctic tundra. They survive through the year in these harsh conditions but come wintertime they are killed for their meat.

Status and Importance The animal is considered endangered in certain parts of its territory, particularly in Nova Scotia. It has been known to be hunted for its meat and fur. However, in the last century it has been able to rebuild its range in certain areas. It is considered an indicator species for the natural habitats of certain plants and trees. The animals are protected in many parts of Canada and the International Federation of Deer Breeding Clubs monitors its conservation status.

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