Reindeer On The Roof Of The California Academy Of Sciences (PHOTOS)

It's probably safe to assume that Golden Gate Park's California Academy of Sciences has a chimney. Otherwise Santa made a big mistake parking his reindeer on the roof--it would have been much simpler to leave them in the parking lot and just walk in through the front door.

Okay, maybe the reindeer temporarily making the verdant living roof of San Francisco's premiere science museum their home didn't technically come from the North Pole. Nor are they the exclusive property of Old St. Nick. However, the Academy is using their presence to help get science into the Christmas spirit.


2011 marks the second consecutive year the museum has rolled out its 'Tis the Season for Science program where visitors can not only meet reindeer up close and personal, but experience an indoor snowstorm and also learn the science behind holiday traditions like mistletoe.

The exhibit also promises to answer the age old question: do partridges really live in pear trees?

There currently are two deer grazing on the foliage atop the museum: a male named Miles and a female whose name will be chosen in a naming contest ending in mid-January.

The name Miles was picked in a similar contest last year and is a nod to the ability of reindeer to travel up to 3,000 miles in a single year--the most of any land mammal. In addition to bestowing a name upon a reindeer, the winner of this year's contest will also receive a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the museum and get to make it snow in the Academy Piazza.

This special seasonal program runs until January 16th.

Check out this slideshow of shots of the reindeer: