Get to Know Our Reindeer!
4th Dec 2012
Reindeers have long been associated with Christmas since as early as the 1800’s - Famously featuring in a poem by Clement C. Moore "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (also known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas").
Whilst the reindeers here at Noah’s Ark aren’t called Dancer, Prancer, or Vixen… they are certainly real characters! Our reindeers are named Ceaser, Rihanna and Remi.
Eleanor, Head of Farm Team at Noah’s Ark said, “Ceaser is certainly the bossiest and most confident, he likes to play with his keepers and will accept scratches. The girls are a little shyer but also enjoy a treat. They particularly like carrots and parsnips!”
Adapted perfectly for cold climates, reindeers possess a remarkable anatomy. Their bodies, coated in hollow hairs, create insulation, shielding them from chilling temperatures. Their thick fur, comprising two layers, acts as nature's armour. An insulating undercoat and a protective outer layer shield them from rain and snow, while also making them buoyant in water, aiding their swimming ability. Each spring, they shed this winter coat, only to regrow it, ensuring their resilience during the colder months.
Even their hooves and footpads undergo seasonal transformations. In summer, their sponge-like footpads offer exceptional grip on wet terrains, while in winter, these pads shrink, exposing sharp hooves that effortlessly cut through snow and ice. Their hooves also get hairier to help grip on the ice and they have a tendon that snaps across the bone creating a clicking noise when they walk. It helps them to stay together as a herd in bad weather so even when they can't see each other they can still hear each other.
Another cold weather adaptation turns reindeers’ noses red, just like Rudolph! Like humans, reindeer have a dense amount of blood capillaries in their nasal cavities – they actually have 25% more than humans. When the weather turns particularly cold, blood flow in the nose increases. This helps keep the nose surface warm when they root around in the snow looking for food and also helps to regulate the air temperature so they don't breathe in really cold air.
Did you know that reindeer are one of few mammals who can see UV which helps them find food in the snow and spot predators? Reindeer are definitely fascinating animals that deserve attention all year round, not just for the festive season!
Meet our Reindeer
From December 16th – 31st, we’ll be running daily reindeer talks at 2.00pm! Meet the reindeer herd and learn all about their personalities from our dedicated keepers!
The Perfect Gift for Reindeer Lovers!
Consider gifting an Adoption Package this Christmas. Did you know that you can actively support our conservation efforts and contribute to the care of the Zoo animals by adopting a reindeer?
Your Adoption Gift Package will include:
- A soft toy representation of your animal
- A free Adult Day Ticket to visit your adopted animal
- A large photo of your animal
- A personalised certificate
- A thank you letter
- Your name displayed at the animal exhibit (name will be displayed at the beginning of the following month and will be displayed for 12 months)
- A fact sheet about your chosen animal
- A Noah’s Ark fridge magnet