A kicker is a story at the very end of a newscast. Often it's fun, funny or light-hearted. When I got the assignemt Friday to go interview reindeer at This is the Place Heritage Park, I knew this would be the kicker story of the day.
I'm not complaining. I actually pitched the story idea. Wildlife experts at Texas A&M were pondering whether Santa's reindeer were all female, because they still have their antlers. Male reindeer lose theirs by winter, and pregnant females keep theirs until spring. Every reindeer regrows antlers every year. Oh, and neutered males also keep theirs in the winter. So that means Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph could be, ahem, steers. Vixen, Cupid, Dancer, Prancer, Comet -- maybe all girls.
Anyway I knew This is the Place has reindeer for their Christmas Village. So up Emmigration Canyon I went, and I had a really nice time. Have you ever seen reindeer up close? They are bigger than you'd expect! The park has three right now, Boss, Bambi and Big Steer. The park's staff tells kids that the reindeer are on Santa's B Team, or supplementary team. There are several parked around the world. If one of Santa's reindeer gets tired Christmas Eve, then he can stop by and pick up a replacement.
I took video for the first time as a radio reporter too, just for all you folks checking the web site. I interviewed the reindeer, as per noon producer Paul McHardy's request. So go HERE to read the whole story and watch the video.