Musk oxen are huge, woolly beasts! They look like the kind of creature that would roar into town on a big, loud motorcycle. We got to meet several today at the Large Animal Research Station (LARS) outside of Fairbanks. Apparently they went extinct in Alaska in the 1800's but they have been re-introduced from herds in Greenland. At LARS they brush out the animal's soft woolly undercoat in the spring and sell it to people who knit nice sweaters and hats. The money they make goes toward caring for the animals.
We also met several caribou - a close relative of the reindeer. Did you know caribou are terrific swimmers? They have to swim away from packs of wolves. New baby caribou can run about an hour after a birth. This makes them safer from hungry wolves. There are so many mosquitoes up where the caribou live that they can lose a half a pint of blood to mosquito bites every day!