Three White Reindeer Calves are Joining the Festivities

Not all reindeer live at the North Pole.

Dec 6, 2022
Three White Reindeer Calves are Joining the Festivities | Not all reindeer live at the North Pole.

The reindeer that are part of the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd are usually brown, so it was a rare event for three white reindeer calves to be born in the summer of 2022. Now the calves named vanilla, Mr. Whippey and 99 are having all that reindeer fun gearing up to spread Christmas cheer this season, reported The National Scot News.

White Reindeer
The reindeer that live in Greenland are usually white and white reindeer do occur in European herds but that is usually very rare. Pictures of a white reindeer spotted in Norway in 2018 went viral on Instagram, reported the BBC.

The unusual appearance of white reindeer is due to a genetic condition that affects the animals’ fur, but they are not albino. That’s why three calves in a small herd are such a big deal.

The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd
The 150 head herd of reindeer are the only free-range herd in the UK. These reindeer live in Cairngorm, Scotland and have more than 6,000 acres to roam as well as a 1,200 enclosed mountain area, according to INews. This is part of the UK’s only subarctic ecosystem.

But these reindeer are not native to the area. The first reindeer were brought to the UK from the Swedish Lapland in 1952 by Mikel and Ethel Utsi as an experiment. The animals took  to the area and have lived there ever since.

The Cairngorms is ideal for the reindeer. We’re centrally positioned within the Highlands which means we have a more continental climate, Tilly Smith, owner of the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre told The National Scot News. “We’re more likely to have cold, snowy, Arctic-like conditions which provide the best vegetation. Our mountains, although vast and impressive, are also gentle which suits the reindeer.”

The reindeer can be visited daily – except for January to early February –  and there are guided tours, but this can be dependent on the weather, according to the Cairngorm herd’s website.

During the holiday season – November and December –, some of the reindeer go out on tours around the country that include giving sleigh rides to provide education about the herd and reindeer, as well as to bring some Christmas cheer.

While you won’t see Rudolf pulling the sled you will see a powerful reminder, that it is important to support these magnificent creatures all year long.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.