Sir Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, who founded the Grenfell Mission more than 100 years ago, was the first to introduce reindeer to the Great Northern Peninsula. After reading Rompkey’s “Grenfell of Labrador” it is clear Grenfell purchased some 300 reindeer from Scandinavian countries to help provide a food supply to locals of the North.
In North America, reindeer are commonly referred to as the caribou. On the Great Northern Peninsula we are seeing the caribou coming back in larger numbers.
The Great Northern Peninsula has a unique offering including the presence of abundant nature and wildlife. This past winter when I drove from St. Anthony to Green Island Cove I was greeted by a small heard of caribou in Eddies Cove East (Route 430 – Viking Trail) and pulled over to wait for them to cross the road. After driving through this tiny community in “The Straits” to the south I saw a total of nine caribou. It was unusual for them to be grazing for food on the opposite side of the road adjacent to the frozen Strait of Belle Isle with Labrador dominating in the background. It was one of those moments when you just stare in amazement.
In late May, when attending the graduation of students at James Cook Memorial, Cook’s Harbour I also saw a bunch of caribou off Route 435.
Enroute to Croque and St. Julien’s, I met these caribou trotting along Route 432 (Grenfell Drive) near the Town of Main Brook.
The Great Northern Peninsula is a place to visit at any time of year, especially if you want to view the majestic caribou (reindeer). The Christmas season is quickly approaching, reminding us that Santa and his reindeer will be on his way in just a month from today.
Here is a link to another posting with some great shots of caribou on the Great Northern Peninsula: What a view today on the Great Northern Peninsula…
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North