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Photo courtesy of Reindeer Herder’s Association.

Reindeer in the Dark — Finland

by Anne Miltenburg

To the peril of both animals and drivers, daily life in cold climates includes the risk of cars and reindeer colliding. Long, lonely roads winding through forests and mountainous terrain make it hard for even the most alert driver to spot the reindeer in time. In 2013 alone, 3,665 reindeer were killed by cars.

The Finnish Reindeer Herder’s Association has come up with a clever plan to reduce the death toll by applying a reflective spray to the animals’ antlers, thus making the reindeer easily visible to drivers in the long, dark, winter nights. If the test, to be run this February on 20 reindeer, is successful, the method will be applied to the rest of the Finnish reindeer population, a staggering 200,000 animals.

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