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UAF Large Animal Research Station welcomes reindeer calves to the world

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 4:15 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Life is returning to the Interior with the arrival of spring, and that includes the birth of adorable reindeer calves.

According to Sarah Barcalow, Animal Care Technician for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Large Animal Research Station (LARS), they are expecting even more calves in the coming weeks.

“We currently have 13 reindeer calves on the ground,” Barcalow elaborated. “We have a few more that we are waiting to calve out... not really exactly sure how many we’re gonna have. Our calving season has been a bit long. The first one was actually born at the end of March, March 30, and the last one was born yesterday (April 27).”

This is the largest number of calves born at the research station in the last few years. “The past two years, we’ve actually had very low calving numbers,” Barcalow remarked. “Last year we only had one reindeer calf, and the year before we only had three. So this year we’ve got 13, hoping for a few more, and that’s pretty good to replace some of the older animals that have passed away in the past few years.”

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the research station will be holding big events where residents can see the young calves. With the main season beginning on May 23rd, and the return of the annual Birthday Bash on June 3rd, baby reindeer won’t be the only thing residents will have the chance to see. “We are expecting at least four or five muskox calves this spring,” Barcalow said, “and hopefully we will get to announce that they’ve been born sometime next week,”

More information on the animals and events can be found at the UAF LARS website.

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