Zoo works to "rein in" kids

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - December 2, 2008 - While other kids were getting their pictures taken with Santa, some youngsters at the zoo posed with one of the less heralded workers that make the holiday happen.

A reindeer named "Snowflake."

"I think she's Rudolph's cousin," said Nicol Mastrangelo of the Elmwood Park Zoo. "She's a substitute in case one needs a day off or gets tired.

It's their amazing strength that is so valued not only by Santa, but by many in Arctic cultures.

"They can pull twice their own weight on a sleigh and they're only called reindeer when used in that application. In the wild they're known as caribou," explained Jeff Marston of the Elmwood Park Zoo.

"They have an extra tendon in their feet and that makes a clicking sound when they walk. So when they're in a bad snow storm, they can hear each other and find out where they are."

Snowflake will be around until December 23rd, available for posing and petting.

For about the Elmwood Park Zoo, CLICK HERE.

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