It’s a little bit of the North Pole, by way of Como Zoo.
Animal Planet’s online Reindeer Cam is focused on a trio of Santa’s hooved helpers at the St. Paul zoo this holiday season. Their antics (admittedly rather tame) are streaming live, 24/7 at www.apl.tv/reindeer.htm through Christmas. Rumor has it the Jolly Old Elf himself will stop by for on-camera lunchtime visits with the reindeer Dec. 11, 18 and 23.
Zoo officials say the Reindeer Cam gives people a chance to watch as the animals “feed, navigate their habitat, and manage social relationships.”
Interest in the reindeer — all ladies who go by Junebug, Abby and Buttons when they’re not helping Santa — jumps during the holiday season, said Matt Reinartz, the zoo’s marketing director.
“They’re beautiful animals. It’s really cool to see these giant antlers,” he said. “You throw this up on the big screen and it’s better than the Yule Log.”
The reindeer seem to mostly lounge beneath a shelter marked with a Christmas countdown and munch on plants from time to time. Certainly, other local online animal celebs have offered a bit more drama (will the eagle eggs hatch?) and rated higher on cute-factor (thank you, bear cubs).
But these regal members of the deer family, who live up to 20 years, are probably just saving up their energy.
“Once in a while it looks like they’re talking to each other, getting their game plan together,” Reinartz said.
A long night of work awaits come Dec. 24. That is, if Rudolph shows up. □