The Moscow Zoo experienced birth of forest reindeer cubs

June 5
Parks and pedestrian areas

The forest reindeer cubs were born at the Center for Reproduction of Rare Animal Species of the Moscow Zoo located near Volokolamsk. This subspecies of reindeer is listed in the International Red Book. According to the estimates by zoologists, its wild population numbers only about five thousand individuals.

At the Center for Reproduction, the offspring from two she-reindeer (this is the name of female reindeer) were got. The fawns were born within days of each other. The eldest is a bright red male, from the first days it is actively interested in the world around it. The youngest is a female with light gray fur. It is still afraid to go far from its mother. Both cubs already have small horns.

Fawns feed on mother's milk, and by six months they will get food for adults: reindeer lichen, branches, hay, special compound feed. The favorite sweets of animals is fresh carrots. One can admire the cubs by watching a short video on The Moscow Zoo will publish photos and videos of the deer and video with them on its social media pages.

Press Service of the Moscow Zoo

“Soon the little forest deer will start walking with their herd in the huge open-air cage. In autumn, when they grow up and get stronger, zoologists will conduct another medical examination. Perhaps in the future, the cubs will be released into the wild, where they can help to restore the forest reindeer population. The Moscow Zoo cooperates with the Kerzhensky Nature Reserve in the Nizhny Novgorod Region to preserve the Altai-Sayan population of deer,” Svetlana Akulova, General Director of the Moscow Zoo, said.

In total, 17 forest reindeer live in the Center for the Reproduction of Rare Animal Species. They are divided into two herds, each with one dominant male and several females. Both groups occupy vast areas of mixed forest with hills, ravines and ponds. The rest of the males live separately, in their own areas of the forest.

In the wild, reindeer can be found on the Taimyr Peninsula, in the taiga stretching from Karelia to the Okhotsk coast, on the Kola Peninsula, in the Zabaikalsk and Altai Territories, as well as in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Canada and other countries. They live in the tundra, forest-tundra, plains and mountainous areas within the coniferous taiga.

In summer, fleeing from heat and annoying insects, the reindeer move closer to the Arctic coast, and return to the forests when it becomes frosty. In search of comfortable conditions and food, herds often have to travel long distances, up to 500 kilometers.

Press Service of the Moscow Zoo

The world population of reindeer is still relatively large, exceeding 10 million individuals. However, their numbers are steadily declining. This species of animals has several varieties, including the European, Novaya Zemlya, Siberian tundra, Okhotsk and forest reindeer. Some of them are endangered.

Forest reindeer is one of the rarest species. It inhabits the south of Siberia: Gorny Altai, Tuva Republics, Buryatia and Khakassia, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Irkutsk and Kemerovo Regions. Also can be found in Finland. Representatives of the forest subspecies are distinguished by a reddish-brown or sandy-brown shade of wool, in winter the fur coat brightens. There is a suspension of long hair on the neck.

Reindeer are large animals. Their body height is from 160 to 210 centimeters and weight from 70 to 200 kilograms. A characteristic feature includes the large horns that adorn the heads of both males and females. The horns can be up to 150 centimeters long. It is noteworthy that their shape is unique for each individual: they are different in the number of processes, curve and thickness. The dense wool protects the reindeer from the cold.

Due to the harsh climatic conditions in their habitats, reindeer have to search the food under the snow almost all year round. The hoofed animals are able to dig up a meter layer of snow. Their diet includes lichens, various herbs, cereals, berries and mushrooms. Reindeer are herd animals. It is easier for them to fight off natural enemies in a group: wolves, brown bears and wolverines. One herd grows up to tens, sometimes up to a thousand individuals.

This spring at the Moscow Zoo the babies of the Valais sheep and the Ouessant dwarf sheep were born. Three lambs live in the contact area of the children's zoo. They have already started to leave the open-air cage, but try to stay close to their mothers. In addition, a crowned crane chick hatched out in the Zoo in May. Birds native to West and East Africa were so named due to a high yellow crest on their heads resembling a golden crown. And although their wild population is still large (according to ornithologists, it amounts to 40 thousand specimens), the number of birds is inexorably decreasing, so crowned cranes are red-listed.


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