Thursday, 23 December 2010

Reindeers fitted with reflectors

Norway's 200,000 reindeer are being fitted with reflectors to protect them from being run over.

So far about 2,000 of the animals have been fitted with reflective yellow collars or small antler tags, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The aim is to reduce the number of car crashes that kill around 500 of the animals each year.

"It really works," said Kristian Oevernes, the leader of the project at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

"This is the first time it (reindeer marking) has happened on this scale."

A test drive on a snowmobile showed that marked reindeer were far more visible in the dark than others.

About 200,000 reindeer live in Norway, mostly owned by Sami indigenous people who raise them for meat, skins and antlers.

Sami herders had tried small experiments to attach reflective tape to the animals but the glue failed in the cold.

Finnish herders had also tried a reflective spray, but it reduced the fur's ability to keep out the chill.

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