Spring has officially arrived at the Greater Vancouver Zoo with the cherry blossoms and tulips blooming and the zoo’s first new baby of the year.
The “babe” is a beautiful reindeer and the first reindeer ever born at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
“She was born prematurely on April 8 and it was very nerve wracking in the beginning as she was having a hard time getting up and nursing,” said spokesperson Jody Henderson. “We thought we were going to have to intervene, although the first time mom, Moxie, was not giving up on her new addition to the world and has proved to be a great mom to her calf.”
“I am always really excited about new additions to the zoo family, but this time it is extra special as this is a first reindeer born at the zoo,” says Craig Melen, animal keeper for the North American species. Click here for a short video that Craig filmed of the mom and baby in the first week.
Reindeer, also known as caribou, are a medium-sized member of the deer family. They are found in the northern regions of North America, Europe, Asia and Greenland. One of the unique features of the reindeer is that most females and males carry antlers.
The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species lists the caribou as “Least Concern”. As always there are numerous reasons for the decline in the caribou population including habitat loss, human disturbance, predator access, altered predator-prey dynamics and small population effects.
Newborn reindeer nursing on her mother. (submitted photo)