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Lowry Park Zoo

Reindeer Facts

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo welcomes a small herd of reindeer this December that can be seen exclusively at Wild Wonderland, a nighttime holiday celebration at the zoo.

Here are eight fun facts about Reindeer!

  • Reindeer are native to the arctic and subarctic regions of Europe and Asia, and can be found in North America.
  • Like their cousins, the caribou, they are the only deer in which males and females both produce antlers, which are shed annually. The primary purpose of the antler is for gaining social dominance.
  • Thick coats allow reindeer to survive in cold winter climates. A fine "wooly" hair acts as an undercoat and makes for an efficient air trap. In summer they shed their guard hair, exposing their dark, soft undercoat.
  • Reindeer are strong swimmers!
  • Hoofs are broad and act like snowshoes to help them walk on soft ground. The shovel-like design also helps with digging.
  • Reindeer have an ankle tendon that rubs over a bone causing a clicking sound when the animal walks; this enables the animals to locate one another during severe snowstorms.
  • Reindeer have been domesticated in their native regions, and trained to wear harnesses and pull sleds, which may have led to the honor of pulling Santa's sleigh.
  • Reindeer are not so tiny, as the song says! Reindeer can range from 3 to 4 feet high, and can weigh 200-300 pounds.
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