Animals Up Close: Reindeer

Animals Up Close

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – It’s certainly not beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but this week’s trip to the Oglebay Good Zoo might bring you a bit of holiday cheer. 

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donor and Blitzen, but at the Oglebay Good Zoo the most famous reindeer of all is Princess. 

One of the first things you’ll notice about Princess is her huge antlers, which both males and females have. 

She’s used to the colder climates, so in the summer Princess will also shed her fur.

“She has two layers of coat and she’s shedding the top layer,” explained Mindi White with the Oglebay Good Zoo. “So, when she has he full coat on, her heat comes back into her body. Those hollow hairs keep her heat up against her body.”

Those antlers also serve a purpose, helping reindeer get lichen to eat off trees.

And yes, the Christmas song is true. When reindeer walk their hooves do go click, click, click. 

A tendon sliding over bone makes the noise.

“When they’re running around in their huge families and their huge herds, they actually have to listen to each other instead of see each other,” White said.  

The Oglebay Good Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

If you’d like to visit Princess, the zoo also does animal encounters. For more information call 304-243-4100, or visit their website.

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