We saw only a few of caribou while we visited Denali National Park, and they were all at a considerable distance. We found the one grazing below while we were traveling on the park road. We watched him eat for a while and took several profile shots. Briefly, he turned and looked at us, as if he wanted to ask, “what are YOU looking at?” I thought it was a cute pose. By the way, the disturbed dirt shown in the background was the result of digging by some brown bears!
Here are come tidbits about these handsome creatures, also known as a reindeer. Both the males and females have antlers and grow them each year. They are herbivores, eating up to 12 pounds a day of lichens, mosses, grasses, and plants. The low-bush cranberry shrub is one of their favorites! Caribou have concave shaped hooves that hold them up like snowshoes on deep snow. They make a characteristic clicking sound when they move, the result of tendons slipping over the bones in their feet. Finally, caribou are famously known for their long migrations, with their summer and winter ranges located hundreds of miles apart. Some herds have been observed to travel up to an incredible 3000 miles per year!