Posted December 2021
On your next visit, look in the Caribou habitat to see the new addition – a male caribou named Bean! Bean arrived in late fall and is acclimating to his new surroundings and herd mates, females Rose (17 years) and Kyli (14 years). Bean will turn 2 years old in April 2022.
Zookeepers say Bean is much more energetic than the females, which is partly because they are several years older.
Newcomer Bean likes to investigate brush piles and hidden food treats in his habitat.
Bean’s arrival at MCZ coincided with breeding season, so he was starting his first rut. Rut is a periodic, often annually recurring state of some male animals when behavior associated with the urge to breed is displayed. Bean received medication to calm him and curb his hormones. (This medication is given routinely to the Zoo’s caribou in rut.) Afterward, Bean was calmer and showed the most interest in Kyli. The two were often seen laying near each other.
Bean has lost his antlers, and Rose and Kyli were in charge for a bit, but he ramped up again and tried to spar with the females. Keepers say he’s like a “naughty teenager,” but interacts calmy with his care staff. Bean is also trusting his keepers and getting desensitized to having a halter put on. Getting comfortable with a halter will allow him to participate in his own healthcare, like remaining still for hoof trims and any necessary treatment for hoof problems.
So far, Bean’s favorite treats are beet pulp, rye crackers, tree browse and romaine lettuce. In the outdoor habitat, Bean likes to investigate brush piles, different scents, and hidden food treats which are placed by keepers to keep the caribou active and healthy and to display similar traits as he would in the wild.