Caribou are the only member of the deer family in which both males and females grow antlers which are shed annually. Caribou are great wanderers traveling in large herds across the Alaskan tundra. Nature has designed caribou antlers with an efficient scraper or shovel-like protrusion that allows the animal to scrape away snow and ice from the frozen ground in winter, exposing lichens and “reindeer moss” that make up their winter diet. Rural and Native Alaskans depend on caribou for a major source of food. Populations of wild caribou in Alaska are plentiful, with over 25 herds totaling more than 900,000 animals, supporting both sport and subsistence hunting without negative impacts.
The use of animal bones in traditional Alaska art is an expression of respect for the spirit of the creatures and wise use of all resources available to people living in a remote, isolated and harsh environment
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