In news straight from the Rudolph Files, Norway’s 200,000 reindeer are being fitted with reflectors to reduce the number of car crashes that kill around 500 of the animals each year. To date, almost 2,000 reindeer have been fitted with reflective yellow collars or small antler tags this month in a project of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.
Tests so far have shown that marked reindeer were much more visible in the dark than others. Several people are injured every year in car accidents involving reindeer, not to mention the fatalities suffered by the reindeer themselves. Indigenous Sami herders have experimented with attaching reflective tape to the animals but the glue failed in the cold. Finnish herders have also tried using a reflective spray, which seems like a true act of desperation–but it was unsuitable as it reduced the fur’s ability to keep out the cold. Not good.
Here’s to helping Norway’s reindeer, and a hearty skål to whomever instigated this new program.
photo credit: ALAMY