Bou, the caribou who flew

5 min read / poem

Bou, the caribou who flew

The caribou is just the same
As reindeer, just another name

Why 2 names, I hear you cry?
Well, only reindeer can fly

Santa bestowed a magic gift
That gave reindeer enchanted lift

Bou, the caribou would roam
Across the snow around her home

Keen to learn & keen to know
Miles across the land she’d go

She watched the trees, she watched the sky
Watched as other animals passed by

One night as she was on her way
She came upon a giant sleigh

A man in red traversed the ground
A herd of reindeer stood around

What was wrong? mused Bou, then saw
A set of antlers on the floor!

“Oh what to do, oh my, oh my!
Without your antlers, you cannot fly!”

The man in red seemed most upset
Bou swallowed hard & up she crept

“Excuse me” said a nervous Bou
“Is there something I can do?”

“Without his horns, he cannot fly”
The man replied with heavy sigh

“The magic antlers aid his flight.
How can we solve this awful plight?

With so many gifts still on the sleigh
What will disappointed children say?”

Then, on spotting Bou’s antlers, said
“Why you can help us out instead!”

“But I can’t fly” young Bou retorted
“My magic will soon get that sorted”

Said the man to startled Bou
“I’m Santa Claus, how do you do”

Pulling a bag from his cloak of red
He sprinkled dust over Bou’s head

Her antlers tingled, then Bou found
Her body lifting from the ground.

“Good las “ said Santa. “We need to go.
Gifts to deliver, don’t you know”

Bou joined the reindeer & looking round
Watched the sleigh lift off the ground

“The antler-less reindeer must remain here
He will rejoin us, when new ones appear”

So off into the night, excited Bou flew
Delivering gifts with his reindeer crew

The children were happy, none of them knew
That Bou was the first caribou who flew

• • •

Photo of moose in water.

The Story Behind the Poem

“My husband & I visited the Preserve in Fall 2021 & the lovely gentleman who drove the tour bus was explaining about how caribou & reindeer are the same thing. Then, as we had children in the group, he suggested the the difference between reindeer & caribou was the ability of reindeer to fly ☺️ He then told us about Bou, the rescued caribou, who was flown in adding, “so I guess she was a caribou who flew!”

This comment made me laugh & inspired me to compose a Christmas rhyme, based on “Bou, the Caribou who flew”

Poem and message by Diane Gregory.

• • •

Photo of staff giving moose oxygen.

The Story of Bou – the magical caribou

Bou the Caribou was flown to the Preserve as a tiny calf from the Chisana Herd in 2005. During this time, there was efforts protecting this herd from dramatic population decline from unprecedented calf predation. The efforts to improve calf survival was tested through maternal penning. When Bou was born her mother did not produce milk and Bou was at risk of death. Bou was brought to the Preserve’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre via helicopter – a special flight for this very special caribou!

On December 25th, 2021 Bou passed away. She was absolutely a magical creature and the timing of her passing only reiterated this. We are touched by this incredible poem shared with us by Diane.

• • •

Randy & Dr. Maria Hallock with Bou the Caribou from the Chisana herd. 2005
Lindsay Caskenette

Lindsay Caskenette

Manager Visitor Services

Lindsay joined the Wildlife Preserve team March 2014. Originally from Ontario, she came to the Yukon in search of new adventures and new career challenges. Lindsay holds a degree in Environmental Studies with honours from Wilfrid Laurier University and brings with her a strong passion for sharing what nature, animals, and the environment can teach us.


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