The original members of Big Game's bison family were abandoned calves that had to be bottle-fed. The largest, named Big Boy now weighs more than 1 ton.
Bison are gregarious and live in herds whose range includes grasslands and open woodlands. They have poor eyesight and depend on their sense of hearing and smell.
Big Game Alaska has cared for and stabilized a large number of moose, the largest member of the deer family. Mattie, a 5-year-old cow moose was brought to Big Game when she was less than 5-days-old. Stray dogs in Palmer, Alaska, killed her mother. Mattie has starred in more than 10 commercials and loves to eat bananas. Seymour, a 4-year-old bull, was brought to Big Game when he was 1-year-old and faltering due to malnutrition.
Black-tailed deer are often orphaned in areas where there is active logging and the deer are run over by trucks. Big Game has rehabilitated deer from the outermost tip of Southeast Alaska, as well as deer from the Prince William Sound area. These tiny fawns usually weigh less than 5 pounds when they arrive at the wildlife center.
Black-tailed deer are smaller than their southern cousins. The antlers are similar to the mule deer, forking rather than all points coming from a single main beam. The black-tail deer is rarely found on the mainland of Alaska, preferring the islands of Alaska's coastal rain forests.
Caribou are rarely orphaned because another member of the herd will usually care for any calves who lose their mother. A number of Big Game's caribou were rescued from islands that were overpopulated and could not sustain healthy animals. To prevent starvation some animals were removed and Big Game shared in the rescue effort.
The Musk Oxen is a member of the goat family. It is an arctic survivor with a thick coat consisting of long (up to 36 inches) guard hairs covering a dense winter coat of harvestable warm fur called Qiviut. Qiviut is considered to be one of the warmest material in the world.
The two male musk oxen at Big Game Alaska are part of a research program in conjunction with the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The under wool is combed out in May and Qiviut products are sold in the gift shop.
Musk ox populations have been drastically reduced in recent years. Hunted to extinction in Alaska in 1865 and successfully reintroduced with a small herd from Greenland in the 1930s.
Alaska is often called the last frontier and with good reason, it contains some of the most remote and unexplored wilderness areas left in the world today. Alaska has always seemed to draw those looking for adventure and the Wildlife and Nature lovers. Alaska is made up of many diverse ecological regions and each has it's own special features that makes it a unique place.
The Wildlife of Alaska is to me though, the most remarkable thing about "The Great Land", Seeing Eagle, Bear, Caribou and Moose on a daily basis never gets old, it just amazes! But we shouldnt forget that the beauty of Alaska isnt eternal. If we want to show our children where we lived we should take care of animals, birds and mammals. The problem of extinction isnt related to Alaska only. In our country this problem exists too.
And in conclusion all of us should always remember the wise advice of a great English writer John Galsworthy who said: “If you dont think about the future you will not have it.”
- Robert B.Weeden. Alaska. Promises to keep. Boston, 1978.