CaribouClick HERE > to Download a VIDEO CLIP on Caribou. (3.37MB AVI)
Caribou are the only members of the deer family in which both male and female grow
antlers. An average adult male caribou weights 350 to 400 pounds, while sometimes
weighing up to an enormous 700 pounds.
Females are usually much smaller weighing around a hundred pounds lighter than the males.
Adult caribou are around 7 feet tall and 3½ to 4 feet tall at the shoulders.
During the summer the caribou spends most of their time eating the rich and lush vegetation in preparation for winter. They typically begin to shed their antlers after the month of October. By January the antlers are usually completely gone. Caribou movements and migrations are very unpredictable and hard to track. It is difficult for hunters, whose small communities thrive on the meat and coats of caribou, to locate them because they change their migration patterns so often.
Caribou are very unique animals in both their behavior and lifestyle. In the winter these animals are able to smell sources of food beneath the heavy and thick snow. Caribou are always very keen travelers while making their way through large rivers and rugged terrain during their many migrations and movements. Their wide hooves create great paddles. Caribou also use their heavy fur for floatation thus making them expert swimmers.
The life span of a caribou is approximately 8 to 10 years. Recently there has been a decline in their numbers. This has resulted in the tightening of hunting regulations to better preserve these great and marvelous animals.
Video Clip by: Alaska Video Postcards
Text by: The Alaska Almanac 19th Edition,
Alaska's Mammals (Pg. 22-23),
Big Game of Alaska (Pg. 32),
Alaska Wildlife Treasures (Pg. 8-9)
Photo by: AK Division of Tourism
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