The following are reindeer facts:

  • The first reindeer came to the US from Siberia in 1891.
  • They are domesticated livestock.
  • Reindeer are NOT wild animals or exotic.
  • Several bulletins posted with the USDA/FSA reference reindeer as livestock.
  • The USDA does not have reindeer on their susceptible species list for CWD.
  • The federal laboratory in Ames, Iowa has some of the best scientists and researchers in the world.  They have come to the conclusion through their intensive research on CWD that reindeer are not a threat and therefore decided not to include them on their susceptible species list.

Reindeer are NOT Caribou!  Though they have some similarities, there are many differences.

Reindeer are Rangifer Tarandus and Caribou are Rangifer Tarandus grantii


Reindeer Caribou
Breeding starts AugustBreeding Starts September
Can be pinto coloredNever Pinto Colored
Dark brown calvesLight Brown Calves
Can be easily tamed and trained Cannot tame a wild caribou
Reindeer Are Smaller Than CaribouCaribou are considerably larger