Deer can be found in most countries of the world. There are many different sorts of deer. Caribou, also called reindeer, are one kind. They are different from other deer. Like many other animals, caribou live in groups, called herds. There may be as many as 1,000 in one herd. A caribou on its own would be in danger of attack by bears or wolves.
We need friends
Many animals live in groups or herds because they need each other. People need one another too – family and friends. Sometimes we lose our friends. There can be many reasons for this. They may go to live in another place. Sometimes people, who we think are friends, say wrong things about us. That can be the end of a friendship. When friends leave us, we feel hurt inside.
Families also do not always live together happily. Things can go wrong. Maybe a family member is unkind. Sometimes after this happens, family members do not talk to each other for many days or even years. This is very sad. If we lose our friends or family, we can feel as though no-one loves us. We may think that the whole world is against us, with no-one on our side.
But there is someone who always loves us. The Christians' holy book, the Bible, tells us: "There are some friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." * This friend is Jesus Christ.
Why are caribou different from other deer?
• They only live in cold northern parts of the world, such as Russia and Canada. These places are usually covered with snow. Caribou have big round hooves so that they do not sink into the snow.
• They are very beautiful animals with fine horns, called antlers. These have branches and the number of branches tells us the age of the animal. Usually, only male deer have antlers, but both male and female caribou have them.
• When a caribou is only one day old it can run faster than a person! Adult caribou can run at 60-80 kilometres per hour. They also swim fast – up to 10 kilometres per hour. During the year they travel as far as 5,000 kilometres, looking for food.