The Caribou, also called caribou in North America, which is a genus of large antelope with dense distribution, typical of arctic regions, including coastal prairies, mountain range, tundra, central and southern Canada and Alaska. It is one of four recognized subspecies in the Caribou genus, together with the less common Canadian goose and the unusual white-faced variety, which live in isolated parts of Baffinland. This includes both migratory and sedentary populations. It has a very large range, including islands in the north Atlantic (including two in the region of Labrador), the vast coastal plain in Labrador, the coastal lowlands of New York and Quebec, the extensive area of central Quebec, the extensive boreal forest in northern Quebec, Labrador, New England and the northern reaches of the Appalachians. It is a beautiful and elusive animal with huge weight, short legs, long wings and a thick, hard fur.
Adult Caribou give birth to a single infant that weighs between ten and twelve pounds at birth. After weaning the young from the joeys, which are similar to goose eggs, they become adults and hunt for small animals, like deer, moose, foxes, rodents, aquatic insects, birds, and fish. They live in thick forests during winter and in marshy areas and tundra during the summer. They rarely travel above the water. They nest in underground dens or under snowfalls where they hide from predators.
A Caribou’s body is covered with a woolly, dense fur and ears, which stand erect like those of a cat. It has black paws, short tail, dark chest and a heavy brownish gray fur on the back. Neck is high and ears, which may be pointed like those of a rabbit, are tipped by black ear tufts. Whiskers are long and prominent. Its head is broad, flat and broad-chested with large, bushy ears.
Caribou mothers give birth to up to nine pups in a year. Mother gives birth to a litter of up to eight kittens. The young stay with their mother until they can fend for themselves.
Caribou mothers give birth to one to four lactating mother kittens. They usually only gain enough weight during pregnancy to meet their needs before they are weaned onto solid food. These babies are very playful and should be handled gently. They also have dark eyes and dark, almond-shaped ears.
The Caribou is considered endangered in certain portions of its former range. It is considered a migratory species in the far north, it is thought to be close to extinction in the southern parts of its former range. Though breeding and harvesting of the Caribou continue in some parts of the park, it is with a great deal of difficulty that these animals are raised in areas where they are in danger. It is with your help that these beautiful animals are protected from the threats they face within the park boundaries and outside it.