About the Reindeers

Here are some fun questions Santa has received about the reindeers.

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L-R: Dasher, Vixen, Dancer, Prancer, Santa, Rudolf, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen and Comet

Why do biologists say Santa's team is probably made up of female reindeer? Is that true?
Santa understands why biologists would say this. Normally all "males" lose their antlers by late November. The "females", lose theirs in early spring. So it is understandable why biologists say that Santa's teams is all pulled by "female" reindeers.

Actually the team is made up of both females, called cows (Dancer, Vixen, Cupid and Blitzen), and males, called bulls (Dasher, Prancer, Comet, Donder and Rudolf).

It has to do with that special secret diet which makes the reindeer fly. It seems to help the bulls keep theirs antlers, until Santa stop feeding them the special diet, just after Christmas. The cows, who normally have slightly smaller antlers, growth a little fuller.

What is in the special secret diet?
HoHoHo, it's a secret! But Santa can tell you that it is all made of natural ingredients found only in the entire Arctic regions, near the North Pole.

Will I be able to fly if I eat the reindeer food? That would be cool!
prancer.jpgAnd fun! But unfortunately, no. And how does Santa know this? Well I tried it once. Santa thought that if I could fly, it would help deliver all those presents a little quicker. Alas, the only thing that happened was that Santa started to grow antlers himself! It took a few days for them to fall off my forehead. Prancer found it so funny that he could not stop laughing for two days. Lucky for Santa that no one took a picture!

Are all reindeers able to fly?
Very good question. No. Santa found out that only a few reindeers are able to fly.

Which of the reindeers was the first to try the diet?
vixen.jpgVixen was the first to try it. I wished that cameras were invented way back then. The look in hers eyes as she started to float up was hilarious! I have never seen eyes that big before on a reindeer. But she was the quickest in learning to fly. She helped coach all the other reindeers, including Rudolf when he became part of the team years later.

Is it the diet that makes Rudolf’s nose turn red?
HoHoHo! No, Rudolf was born with that shiny red nose.

Does Rudolf nose always glow?
Yes. And Rudolf has learned not only to make his nose glow brighter but also to dim it down to a very dark red, almost black.

Are there other reindeers that have red noses?
rudolf_0.jpgOnly Rudolf. But did you know that when it get really cold, reindeers are able to warm the air they inhale through their noses? The nose has several areas, called cavities, that fill up with blood which than warms the air. That is why you might see pictures of reindeers with a reddish nose in winter. When the weather gets warmer, the blood leaves the nose.

Are all the reindeers the same?
What a wonder question! There are several different species of reindeers. The team is made up of reindeers from various parts of the Arctic region. Dasher is a Boral Woodland caribou from Alaska. Dancer is a Finnish reindeer, from Finland. Prancer is a Barren Ground caribou, from Greenland. Vixen is a Forest reindeer from Norway. Comet is from Russia and is a Mountain reindeer. Cupid is a Kamchatka reindeer from Siberia. Donder and Blitzen are in fact twins. They are Labrador caribous from Canada. And Rudolf is a Buck reindeer from Sweden.

What is the difference between a caribou and a reindeer?
Great question! Basically, they are one and the same. It is more or less where they are from. Caribous come from the North America region; Canada, Greenland and the United-States. Reindeers are from Europe and Asia; Sweden, Finland, Norway, Russia and Siberia. Because Santa once lived in Europe a long time ago, I only knew of the term reindeers. The caribous on the team got use to me calling them reindeers and they do not mind at all. They are so nice to me!

How did Santa choose the reindeers to pull his sleigh?
Wonderful question! It was through tryouts, to see which of the reindeers was able to fly and not afraid of heights, who were the fastest, strongest, and nicest.

Why did you give those names to the reindeers?
Santa did not named the reindeers. The reindeers already had names and they told me! Actually they told the elves who then told me. Elves and reindeers are able to speak to each other.

Is there really a reindeer named Olive?
Why yes there is! Olive, a cow, is a Svalbard reindeer from Siberia. She pulls Mrs. Claus’ sleigh around the North Pole when Mrs. Claus visits the elves and bring them cookies. Olive is very cute as well, but she is not able to fly. But she runs really fast! Zoom!

Do all the reindeers live at the North Pole?
dasher.jpgMost of the reindeers will leave a few days after Christmas to visit their families during the winter months. By late spring, their all back. The only one who stays with us is Dasher. You see, Dasher was an orphan. Santa found him when he was a very little calf, in Alaska, and brought him home. Since then Dasher has always stayed close to Mrs. Claus and myself.

Do the reindeers ever get sick?
Yes, as with all other living creatures. Like a farmer who has livestock, Santa has learnt how to take care of all the reindeers. But when they are really sick, Santa brings them to a veterinarian, a secret place in Nunavut, Canada.

Who is your favorite reindeer? I love Rudolf!
HoHoHo that is a very popular question. I love them all! Let Santa put this way: If you got all the people you love, mom, dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and your pet, in one room and you were asked “Who is your favorite?”, Santa would think that you would find it hard to choose.  Same for Santa. Now image if they all disappeared from that room, you would feel lonely. That is how Santa would feel if one of the reindeers or elves were no longer there.

What do reindeers like to eat? Do they like treats?
Reindeers are herbivores, so they eat mostly leafy greens, hay, grass, mushroom and other plants. As for the threats, they like apples and love carrots. So next Christmas, you can leave a plateful of carrots. Don’t forget the cookies for Santa. Thank you!

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