A few weeks ago Julia was doing one of our guided tours onto the hill with the public when Tuppence, one of our 15-year-old females just turned up. She must have been waiting outside the visitor gate and a visitor let her in thinking that’s where she was meant to be. So for the last wee while she has been coming in everyday for her feed along with ‘the boys’. The male reindeer are in the enclosure during the summer months so she looked suitably tiny next to them! One visitor even asked the guide ‘why is your male to female ratio so bad?’… he obviously wasn’t listening when we explained about Tuppence joining us a few weeks back and where the rest of the cows and calves are.
Then one morning at the end of August we were driving up the ski road doing our usual check of the roads and car parks looking for any free-ranging reindeer hanging around and lo and behold there were two… not just any two though – it was Lilac, who is now the oldest reindeer in the herd at the grand age of 17, and Fonn, who is now 13. We haven’t seen Fonn in a few months, however Lilac we have caught up with a few times over the past weeks. Fonn is looking fairly old but Lilac still going strong! What a reindeer!!!
So Andi walked them down to the enclosure, and Lilac being her usual self just wanted to test us a little bit, however in the end decided the food was the better option so followed in nicely. This was a good opportunity to get Tuppence back onto the free range so we plucked her out of the herd of ‘boys’ and joined her up with Lilac and Fonn… much more her scene. Now they can be three wise old women together.
Obviously we won’t be running them with the bull this year, I think having a calf at 14+ (98+ in human years!) is beyond the call of duty so we’ll put them back onto the free range safely away from those bulls. Next year, Lilac will challenge the oldest reindeer we have ever had in the herd. They were Trout and Tuna (guess the naming theme that year!) and they both reached 18 years old.