Muskox were reintroduced to Alaska at Nunivak Island in 1935 by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, USFWS. They are believed to survivors of the Pleistocene era and to have first come to North American from 200,000 to 90,000 years ago.
These sturdy animals can be domesticated and yield excellent meat, milk, and wool. The wool (qiviut) is very high in insulation value and is prized for its softness and lightness. Qiviut wool yarn sells for upwards of $80.00 per ounce (28 g).
The Muskox eats grasses, sedges, reeds and other ground cover. After snowfall they paw through the snow to find food.
These social animals live in small herds of 10 to 20 animals. When threatened they form a defensive perimiter, tail to tail, with their heads facing out in a stationary ring around their calves.
Photo Credit: Robin West/USFWS
April 3, 2014
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