Umingmak means muskox in Inuktitut.
A muskox looks like a buffalo that never got a haircut. All that shag, some of it actually fine and valuable wool, and a large shoulder hump give the beast a mountainous bearing. And then, of course, there are those formidable forward-curving horns! And if that weren't enough, they usually hang out together in large herds. Intimidated yet?
Well, imposing as they might seem, muskoxen are really rather mellow, grazing quietly most of the time near rivers and lakes in the summer and on hilltops and eskers in the winter. They only get their dander up on a few occasions: when people frighten them with helicopters, snow mobiles or four-wheelers; when bulls compete for cows; and when wolves get courageous (and hungry) enough to try to steal a calf. Then, the bulls and cows form a circle or semicircle around the calves. If a wolf tries to penetrate this line of defense, the muskoxen will show the wolf why they have horns. Sometimes a herd member will throw a wolf up in the air and the rest will show the wolf why they have hooves, trampling the intruder and sending a message to the rest of the pack.
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