Where It All Began
People often ask how these reindeer came to live with Doug and Jane at the Ranch. It started when their daughter, Robin, then age 12, asked if she could have a horse. Allergies and other practical concerns led Jane to say “no”. Persistent Robin turned her attention to goats (absolutely not) or sheep (also no) until Jane eventually suggested an animal better suited to the Arctic. A drive by the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Reindeer Research Project(opens in a new tab) planted the seeds that would germinate through two years of research and fundraising. Those seeds would eventually become Running Reindeer Ranch.
It all came together when in October 2007, reindeer Ruby and Moon joined the family from Tom Williams’ Reindeer Farm(opens in a new tab) in Palmer, Alaska. Olive then came to the ranch in February 2008. In April of that same year, Ruby became a mom: Willow was born, and the family began taking shape. Jasper was born the following spring, Charlie in the spring of 2010, Rufus and Lilly in 2011, Robbie and Lief in 2012, Rosie and Daisy in 2013, Maki and Buttercup in 2014, Rocky Cupcake in 2015, and Rocket and Peanut in 2016. Margarita, the Cinco de Mayo baby, was born to Daisy in 2017, and Sapphire and Toby were last year’s reindeer babies. And finally, in 2019, Cosmos, Poppy, and Juniper joined the herd.
Our reindeer are part of the family and enjoy entertaining visitors, nibbling lichen, and exploring the boreal forest. Want to meet them? Check out our Reindeer Walks!