Rotten after the rutting season

Hangover - Reindeer male after the mating season

”A male reindeer has one goal in life – having his own harem. Powerful males are able to gather 30–50 females to form one. Defending the harem and keeping the females in it satisfi ed is hard work.

Although mating with a female takes only 15 seconds, it is nevertheless a strenuous endeavour for males: after the act, they will stop eating altogether for a couple of weeks and consequently lose a fi fth of their body weight. For females, being in heat is not as demanding: their appetite remains mostly unaffected.”

Illustration and text from a poster series made for Levi nature trails in Finnish Lapland. (Illustrations: Seppo Leinonen, text: Keijo Taskinen, layout: Jyrki Heimonen, translation in English: Jussi Saurio)

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