Reindeer, Maine Deer?


[dropcap letter=”F”]reeway the reindeer, a fixture of local holiday festivities, sadly passed away this year. Candis Veilleux, co-owner of Waterville’s Pony X-Press petting zoo, reports that Freeway’s reindeer friends, Bo and Anna, will take over the spread of Christmas cheer. Once upon a time, though, Santa’s sleigh guides weren’t such a rare sight in Maine.


Growth of Maine’s entire reindeer population in the past year.
Freeway was long the species’ only representative in the state, until Bo and Anna’s recent arrival.


Max miles per hour reindeer can run. Veilleux notes, however,
that they can’t fly without Santa’s magic.


Appearances Maine’s reindeer will make at L.L.Bean in Freeport this holiday season. They’ll also trot out at several elementary schools, nursing homes, and community tree lightings.


Freeway’s age. She was an old lady, surpassing her owners’ expectations by several years. Bo is young blood at 1½, and Anna is 10.


The last year a native Maine reindeer (or caribou, as they’re often called) was spotted, on the slopes of Mount Katahdin. They were once so numerous in the northern part of the state that a city (Caribou) was named for them.


Wild reindeer remaining after two attempts, in 1963 and 1989, to reintroduce herds into Baxter State Park. Predators, poachers, and disease were to blame.


Miles from Waterville to the North Pole, home of Bo and Anna’s other pals — Dasher, Vixen, Donner, et al.

Special rate — Subscribe to Down East for just $24. | Shironosov