Like all Muskox, Härje is built for the brutal conditions of the Arctic Tundra. To stay warm, Härje wears a double coat of thick insulation. His first layer is the quivet, which is a soft underwool, and considered the warmest natural wool by weight in the world — warmer than sheep’s wool and softer than cashmere. Above the quivet is a warm long outerwool, called guard hairs. In the summer, Härje sheds his quivet coat to regulate body temperature throughout the changing seasons.
Härje's calf, Ask (left)
Food can be tricky to come across in the dead of an Arctic winter. So like his fellow Muskoxen, Härje digs his sharp hooves through thick snow to reach roots, mosses, and lichens. In the summer, when the snow wanes, Härje enjoys colorful Arctic flowers and grasses, often grazing near water. It's crazy to think that a strict vegetarian diet can sustain an 800 pound animal!
Härje is loud-mouthed — always chatting amongst the herd and with his caretakers. To him and his fellow Muskox, it may just be casual conversation — but we hear a sound like a lion’s roar: a deep, dark sound rumbling within his chest. Because of this, Härje may come across as a grumpy stubborn bull, but it’s simply a facade. Härje wants to seem like a terrifying Muskox, but his caretakers still see him as the one-year old calf that they met when he joined the preserve in 2009, only now he’s 500 pounds heavier.
There’s a lot we can learn from Härje and his brothers and sisters. His quivet base layer is one of our inspirations for using only the highest quality materials we can in our pullovers and flannels. His resilience in the Arctic winters is our driving motive for an unrelenting ruggedness in all of our clothing. Härje, and his herd, are the reason we’re proud to wear the MuskOx mark.
If you haven’t already read up on our friends and partners at Myskoxcentrum, you can check out their story in our journal here.
Enjoy reading about Muskox? Should we continue to feature Muskoxen from the Myskoxcentrum preserve? We’d love to hear your thoughts — let us know below!