These three adorable white reindeer calves are getting ready for Christmas as the UK’s only herd.
The three babies, named Mr. Whippy, Vanilla, and 99, were born in the summer and are now ready to join the rest of the herd on a tour around the country in the run up to Christmas.
During the rest of the year, the free-ranging herd lives at the Cairngorms National Park where the snowy, arctic conditions provide the best vegetation.
The first ones were brought over from Swedish Lapland in 1952 by Mikel Utsi and his wife Dr. Ethel Lindgren as an experiment—and they have grazed the land ever since.
“We’re centrally positioned within the highlands which means we have a more continental climate,” said Tilly Smith, owner of the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre.
“The Cairngorms is ideal for the reindeer. We’re more likely to have cold, snowy, arctic-like conditions.
She said that although the mountains are “vast and impressive“, they’re also “gentle” which suits these less-than-nimble grazers.
“They are beautiful, calming animals,” said Mark Tate of Visit Cairngorms. “They add to the magical winter wonderland feel that really does make winter come to life in the Cairngorms National Park.”
“It’s thanks to the really special environment we have here in the Cairngorms that they’ve thrived and grown.”