Cal Academy aquarium director knows reindeer games, too

Since Santa was unavailable, Chris Andrews, the director of the aquarium at the California Academy of Science, handles two reindeer that are part of a live holiday exhibit. Visitors can enjoy indoor snow flurries, an igloo, crafts, a visit from “Santa Claude” the alligator character and other holiday-themed programs through Jan. 2.

Do the reindeer make a lot of noise? They’re capable of making a lot of noise. [But] they’re pretty quiet.

If you could have a reindeer as a pet, would you? No, I would not. They are large, make quite a mess in your backyard and you’d have to have more than one because they like to live in groups.

What’s your usual area of expertise? I work with a lot of fish and snakes.

Were the reindeer on the academy’s living roof? They were actually on the roof. We took them up in the elevator and did a photo shoot.

How do they interact with humans? Very well. They are sort of a semi-domesticated species.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about them? Males grow antlers and shed their antlers once a year, usually during winter, so arguably Santa’s reindeer are all female.

3-Minute InterviewArt & MuseumsartsCalifornia Academy of SciencesSan Francisco

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Ali Jamalian, whose life was disrupted in the wake of being charged with possession decades ago, now heads up Sunset Connect, a cannabis manufacturing company. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Green Rush: Cannabis equity program elevates unexpected entrepreneurs

‘It’s a form of reparations for those of us who were ruined by cannabis arrest’

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

San Francisco supervisors approved zoning changes that will allow a chain grocery store to occupy the bottom floor of the 555 Fulton St. condo building. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Trader Joe’s approved for Hayes Valley, bringing long-awaited grocery store

New Seasons Market canceled plans at 555 Fulton St. citing construction delays

Shek-Woon Ng, 107, who retired at 99 from his acupuncture practice in San Francisco’s Chinatown, got a COVID-19 vaccination in June. <ins>(Courtesy Sky Link TV)</ins>
Lesson from a 107-year-old man who is now fully vaccinated

One in four seniors in S.F.’s Chinatown have not been inoculated

Most Read