It was a bold experiment in reintroduction, that is, in restoring the population of animals that once lived on Taimyr, but became extinct.
The first batch of musk oxen for Taimyr was captured by Canadian zoologists in August 1974 on Banks Island – ten young animals, equally males and females.
In the spring of 1975, 40 more animals were caught for Russia on the island of Nunivak off the Alaska coast. They were taken and divided into two equal groups: one went to the Wrangel Island reserve, and the other was sent to Taimyr, where animals from Canada had already wintered.
The introduced musk ox took root successfully. In May 1978, the first calves appeared. The population size has gradually increased over the years since the release, and the populated area has expanded. Now, according to some estimates, about 12 thousand musk oxen live in the Taimyr tundra.
Read other materials of our photo project in the History spot section.
Text: Svetlana Samokhina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive