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Fairbanks Large Animal Research Station begins summer tours, featuring unique arctic animals

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 4:14 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Flowers are blooming, baby musk oxen are frolicking, and summer tours have started up once again at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Large Animal Research Station, otherwise known as LARS.

In addition to the research aspects of LARS, the station serves as an educational and outreach facility as well, providing a means of introducing UAF students to wildlife research. Many UAF instructors incorporate visits to the station in their courses, and each year thousands of people enjoy a summer tour of the facility.

The tour lasts about an hour and walks participants through the history of LARS as well as the history of the animals that reside there, like Musk Oxen, Caribou and Reindeer.

Kristina Mulready (center), giving a tour at the UAF Large Animal Research Station on Sunday...
Kristina Mulready (center), giving a tour at the UAF Large Animal Research Station on Sunday May 30th, 2021.(Amanda Becker/KTVF)

LARS is currently open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily and is offering tours twice a day.

“We [currently] do tours at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. There is a small fee for them. Please check our website for anymore information,” said long-time tour guide Kristina Mulready. “We also have Facebook and Instagram pages that you can follow us.”

LARS is hoping to add a third tour time as the summer goes on. For more information on tour cost and current COVID-19 policies, please visit the LARS website.

Reindeer eating grass and willow leaves during a tour at the University of Alaska Fairbanks...
Reindeer eating grass and willow leaves during a tour at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Large Animal Research Station.(Amanda Becker/KTVF)
Three year old female musk oxen eat snacks in the form of Willow leaves during a tour at the...
Three year old female musk oxen eat snacks in the form of Willow leaves during a tour at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Large Animal Research Station.(Amanda Becker/KTVF)
The large reserve, composed of a mix of open pasture and boreal forest, provides ideal...
The large reserve, composed of a mix of open pasture and boreal forest, provides ideal conditions for these herds of arctic ungulates. The original mission of LARS was to investigate the adaptations of large arctic mammals to their northern environment. Early research emphasized comparative nutrition and reproductive physiology, endocrine control, behavior, energetics, genetics, and wildlife disease. Current research continues to combine fundamental biology with applications for wildlife management and economic interests of the state. To date 13 Ph.D. and 13 M.S. students have conducted research at the station to produce over 100 scientific publications and reports.(University of Alaska Fairbanks)

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