We introduced our reindeer to the Park in 2007 and saw our first calves born in 2010, followed by Blossom and Dandy in 2011, and Dancer in 2012. We now have a small herd which can be seen all year round and have proved to be a very popular attraction, especially at Christmas.
Where do they come from? Reindeer are native to northern Europe and Asia, where they migrate across the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Siberia.
What is the difference between a reindeer and a caribou? There is very little difference between reindeer and caribou and they are often classified as the same species. Essentially, reindeer have been domesticated whereas caribou are still wild.
What are reindeer used for? Apart from pulling Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve, reindeer have been used for centuries as a source of meat, milk and hides and of course as a mode of transportation.
How long do reindeer live? Reindeer have a lifespan of about 15 years.
How big are they? Male reindeer (bulls) can weigh up to 400 lb (28 stone) and stand 3 to 4 foot tall at the shoulder. Females (cows) are generally smaller.
What do they eat? Reindeer are ruminants and chew the cud. They basically eat grass and lichen (reindeer moss) and are often given extra protein feed.
How long are reindeer pregnant for? Reindeer have a gestation of about 224 days and most reindeer calves are born in April or May.
Do reindeer grow antlers? Yes. Reindeer are the only deer species by which both males and females grow antlers.
How big are the antlers? Bull reindeer's antlers are the second largest of any living deer, after the moose. They can grow up to 100 cm (39 in) in width and 135 cm (53 in) in length.
How often do antlers grow? Reindeer shed their antlers every year and grow a new rack every spring.
What are antlers made of? Antlers are made up entirely of bone.
What are antlers used for? Antlers are often used as a sign of social status amongst males, who use them to fight with other males during the rutting season. They can also be used for defence and for knocking down food.
Do reindeer like the cold? Reindeer are well suited for cold climates and they grow thick winter coats with hollow hairs for insulation.
Do reindeer have hooves? Yes, they have broad hooves that stop them from sinking in deep snow.
Can reindeer run fast? They have a running speed of 30-40 mph and are also fantastic swimmers.
What noise do reindeer make? Reindeer make grunting noises but are generally quiet animals. They also make a clicking sound when they walk. This is caused by a tendon in their back legs and it helps them track the rest of the herd in poor visibility.