Information Regarding the Caribou Bear
The Caribou, also called caribou in North America and desows in North Eastern Asia, is a large species of antelope with global distribution, historically domesticated for meat use. This includes both migratory and sedentary populations. The coastal population migrates to the warmer climates of Baffin Bay and Labrador. The inland population, which includes the western black bear, goes through a seasonal migration cycle that last for about two weeks. There are two subspecies in the Caribou family: the black bear and the brown bear.
Fur is thick and bushy, with black and brown bear prints typical of the species. The ears, face, feet, eyes, chest, shoulders, flanks, tail, chest, and legs are all marked with black spots and stripes, similar to the markings of the black bear. When traveling, it has a big maw that opens wide to let cooling air in during cold seasons. The mane is short and bushy with a number of hair tufts along the back and sides.
Owing to their large size and omnivorous diet, Caribou are regarded as an Important Species in threatened habitats across several countries in North America and Asia. They feed on a variety of vegetation in both the wild and on farms. They are social animals with families ranging from one to five bears, with cubs often being kept together at birth. In the southern part of their range, caribou live in thick tundra and highland grasslands.
Caribou calves and adult male bears are fiercely loyal to their mother, protecting her at all costs from other bears. They will stay with their mothers until they are about two years of age. Caribou are good climbers and swimmers, but not skilled swimmers. Their long, tapered horns help them overcome many obstacles.
While solitary and nocturnal, Caribou will usually stay close to their rookery or den, a safe spot in the bush. The den can contain up to twelve bears. The bears are rarely seen by humans, as they are afraid of humans. However, in the late spring and summer they become active and head out into the great outdoors. A great number of caribou calves die in the winter because of harsh weather.
Caribou are herbivores, with a diet consisting mainly of small tree-like plants, berries, roots and nuts. Herbivores foragers are less prevalent in nature but do occur in small numbers in arctic tundra regions. Caribou herd during calving, a process which enables mature bears to gain a greater weight advantage over other bears in the year’s hunting season. They have a keen sense of smell and like to mark their territories using scents from hidden food sources. They will scavenge the body of dead trees and rocks before eating anything else.