The Rut season is upon us again in the late summer of 2022! That means our busy Christmas season is approaching at a rapid pace. Here at the Reindeer ZoomRoom we have moved the reindeer into their winter location. We have put Nora and Sven together for the first time, now that they are of age to be with each other safely. At first Sven was very happy to have a new friend, but Nora let him know she was in charge! They are both still in velvet, so are still careful with their antlers. Doing it while they are still in velvet allows them to become friends before they strip that velvet and expose their hard antlers that could potentially be dangerous. I am happy to report they are doing great together.
What has been very interesting is to watch their interactions with each of them with their specific person who cares for them. They were each cared for from a different person. Now that they are together, we have kept their one person interacting with their own reindeer. Sven has been cared for by Abigail ever since he was a baby and Nora has been cared for by Amya. When they get fed now, Nora will only go to Amya for food and will not eat from Abigail's bucket of food. Sven does the same, he will wait for Abigail to arrive and not even follow Amya and Nora. This is very different from how the horses here react, they will just follow anyone with food! Reindeer are not as well studied and known, making this observation even more interesting in that they recognize who is important to them!
Reindeer have a very well established social organization. They are a herd animal that have strong instincts with predictable patterns. We actually observe these here everyday, especially around feeding times! We hear them grunt (sometimes we think that there are pigs outside because that is what they really sound like) and then pace and watch for the food to come. We are supporting their instincts of being herd animals by providing them with what they require. For this year's Holiday season, we will need to take extra precaution due to them being together while finishing the rut. Our display this year will be even better than last year's ZoomRoom experience. We are looking forward to keeping you updated on our progress leading up to the Holiday Season! We have all our reservation times in place now, and have already begun to book certain days! Snow has already fallen here in Alaska at other locations, Winter is Coming!!!