The Large Animal Research Station out at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has the only captive research musk ox herd in the world and a reindeer herd too, just for good measure.
Visitors can come by every day of the week over the summer to learn about the animals, their arctic adaptations, the herd’s past, as well as the station’s history and research. Field trips, private tours for large groups and behind the scene tours are available if booked in advance.
This year there’s some old and some new out at the station—and not just because of the herds have had calves.
A new section of the gift shop is opening, where items made by UAF students and alumni will be available.
Returning is weekly storytime on Thursdays at 11 a.m. Children can come hear a story, meet the animals and make a craft. LARS will be posting what the new craft is each week on its Facebook page.
Speaking of Facebook, for the social media savvy it will be easy to keep up with any musk ox or reindeer friends. LARS has a Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram in addition to the aforementioned Facebook page, all @UAFLARS. Sometimes they’ll have themes, like the 12 Days of Reindeer in December, when workers gave some interesting reindeer facts, but most often there will be pictures and video of the herds and station research taking place.
So if you form a bond with a particular animal, updates on its life at the station will be available across platforms. Although you may want to check out that Snapchat, if only for videos of the calves playing in kiddie pools.
LARS is open every day from May 28-Sept. 1. Folks need only show up a little before one of the tour times and get ready to meet the animals. In September LARS Local’s Day will take place, when visitors can make food bank donations to tour the station.
IF YOU GO
What: Robert G. White Large Animal Research Station
When: May 28-Sept. 1, every day at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m., winter tours available by appointment
Where: 2220 Yankovich Road
Cost: $10 adults; $9 senior and military; $6 students; free children 5 and younger
More info: 907-474-5724 or firstname.lastname@example.org