How musk oxen got from Canada to Taimyr

How musk oxen got from Canada to Taimyr

June 10, 2020

In 1971, the Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau visited Norilsk. He was accompanied by his wife Margaret.

In Norilsk, Trudeau and his wife settled in a small mansion, which was completely rebuilt and renovated by their arrival. The walls of the guest house were decorated with deer and polar bear skins. The general translator, as they called Viktor Sukhodrev, suggested that the Norilsk people had kindly remembered the Canadian Prime Minister for long, as the city had been changed greatly by his arrival.

The Prime Minister promised that the government would provide several musk oxen for Taimyr

According to the translator, Canadians were interested in everything: “how to build multi-storey buildings on stilts, how to mine ore, visited a dispensary for workers, in the lobby of which the most exotic living plants descended from the ceiling. The guests were simply shocked. They also admired the Ice Sports Palace, where they saw boys in full hockey outfit playing the game originated in Canada”. It is known that the Trudeau couple visited some marriage registration at the local registry office.

During the visit, the Prime Minister promised that the government would provide several musk oxen for Taimyr, and fulfilled his promise. Three years later, in September 1974, ten young musk oxen donated to the Soviet Union by Canada were first brought for acclimatization near the Bikada River.

In 2005 the experiment on the relocation of Taimyr musk oxen to the Magadan Region began. And last year, the Taimyr Reserves Directory celebrated the 45th anniversary of the experiment to restore the population of these animals on the peninsula.

Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Vitaly Gorshkov and from the Nornickel Polar Branch archive

June 10, 2020

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