yukon wildlife preserve

Living up North in Canada, I expected to see a lot more wildlife in my daily living. Unfortunately I was wildly mistaken. In fact, I barely saw much wildlife on the drive across Canada. I am quite disappointed, as living just outside of Toronto, it’s not often I see many wild animals, aside from the annoying ones like squirrels, skunks and racoons; the latter two I find rather adorable, by the way. I feel as though I saw more deer living at my parents house in Pickering, than I have since moving up here in the Yukon. Whenever I move away, I make it a point to at least find animals that are native to that area. In Australia I was lucky enough to see kangaroos on a daily basis, as well as the odd koala in the wild. But other than that, I visited the zoo there to see the others. Thailand was more full of stray dogs, cats and roosters than anything. Though the odd cow would wander by my house from time to time. Now living in Whitehorse, I see foxes outside my house, but that is the extent of it, living downtown and all. In order to see the wildlife here I have ventured out to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.

I was lucky enough to first visit the Yukon Wildlife Preserve in the summer when I was up visiting my friend Bryn. It was lovely in the summer to see animals like the arctic fox, caribou, and thinhorn sheep. Bryn and I had a great time wandering around the preserve taking pictures and trying to spot the animals. The good and bad thing about the preserve is that the area for the animals is so vast, that sometimes the animals are in the far back corners of the fenced in area that you can’t really see them. Now for pictures, that part kind of sucks. But obviously for the animals this is much better than being stuck in a tiny little caged in area with little room to roam around. The wildlife here is given a a natural environment to live in, which is better for the animals and better for pictures anyways. Speaking of pictures, the views around the wildlife preserve, regardless of the animals, is breathtaking.

Mule deer just hanging out in the field in August
Mule Deer

Thinhorn Sheep

Thinhorn Sheep
Elk

I was also lucky enough to pay a visit to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve this past Saturday. It was a mild January day for Whitehorse, and seemed like a good day to spend outside wandering and taking pictures. It was nice to see the difference between going here in the summer versus the winter. Different views for different seasons. And the thing I was most excited about was to see my first moose in real life. During my drive across Canada, I saw elk, bison, and deer, but have not been lucky enough to see a moose in real life. I was so excited to finally see one. Though it was interesting to see it with only one antler, now being the time these animals shed their antlers. It was incredible, this magnificent creature, so big and so cute. I was also lucky enough to see the caribou, which were in hiding last time I had gone.

One antlered moose

Cute caribou just hanging out on the hill

My favourite picture of the day, the mountain goat hanging out in a pack

Mountain goat

Thinhorn Sheep
Mule deer laying in the snow
Another mule deer laying in the snow

Lazy bison just staring at me

The craziest thing I noticed was the difference between the arctic fox from the summer to the winter. I had never seen an arctic fox before I came to the Yukon. I never knew much about them either. They have a thick deep fur, that is brown in the summer and white in the winter. I learned that the arctic fox does not even shiver and get cold until the temperature drops to -70 (Celsius). I think this is my favourite animal that I saw. It is just so small and cute, and I just found it so crazy that when I saw it in August it looked so different than in January, the other day.

Arctic fox in August

Arctic fox in January

Another thing I love about the Yukon Wildlife Reserve is the fact that you can find antlers of all shapes, sizes and species, all over the place. Bryn and I had a lovely photo shoot while we wandered around the preserve in August, taking pictures with the antlers. It is goofy, but I mean, who wouldn’t want to pose with antlers on their heads? I loved it so much I made my friend take a picture of me on Saturday with an antler. Yes, I am a dork.

Strategically placed antler in front of moose area

Bryn and her antlers

Me being a dork with antlers

I mean, how could I not?

Bryn too, cause we are cool kids

This is right at the entrance of the preserve, prime photo op
My favourite antler picture, that view is unreal
Moosing around in my Moose Knuckles jacket

 So all in all, I find the Yukon Wildlife Reserve to be a great place to wander around, when you feel like taking in some beautiful views, seeing some wildlife native to the area and for antler photo opportunities. I am glad I was able to go both in the summer and the winter, to be able to see these animals as they are, in their natural habitats and how they differ in the seasons. Check out the website http://www.yukonwildlife.ca for more information, or better yet go check it out, if you are in Whitehorse. It’s definitely worth the wander.

One of those beautiful views I am talking about

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