Thursday, July 28, 2011

How about this wild reindeer as a neighbor?

Good morning from Kronotsky Nature Reserve!

This beautiful reindeer male has been my neighbor for almost a month (technically I am his guest, since the reserve is the wildlife home, and we - humans - are just visitors here). This animal is used to me, not scared much, and sometimes he comes up to me on distances around 50 yards. Every day I notice how he changes: his winter coat is almost gone and he is gaining weight on rich summer grass (this year the grass is very good - volcanic ash served as fertilizer).

Also this individual completely ignores bears, he often is grazing right next to them. But I'm most amazed by the size of his growing antlers. Kamchatkan wild reindeer is the largest subspecies of wild reindeer of Palearctic ecozone. And this is a giant among giants with giant antlers. By the way, the local reindeer population is considered to have the largest antlers in the world.

By September, when the mating season starts, my Neighbor needs to be in perfect shape: he will need to work hard on restoring the reindeer population. Last winter was very hard due to the Kizimen volcano eruption, so only the strongest survived. Let's hope that the next generation will also be the strongest!

Originally posted by at Доброе утро из Кроноцкого заповедника!