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Lapland Reindeers’ Antlers Are Painted To Glow To Avoid Being Hit On Roads
By Ell Ko, 19 Jul 2021
Image via Reindeer Herders Association
Finland’s Reindeer Herders Association has come up with a simple yet genius way to avoid reindeers getting hit in road accidents: spraying their antlers with reflective paint.
First trialed in Lapland in the spring of 2014, the spray was tested on fur first to determine its safety. However, antlers were the preferred canvas to work with, as the Association’s chairwoman Anne Ollila describes. Antlers are able to be seen from every angle, whereas spraying onto fur is only visible if the reindeer is standing at the correct position.
A record high of 4,731reindeer were killed by vehicles in 2020, the website reports. This number has seen an upward trend in the last decade, with the colder months of October, November, and December being the riskiest. These damages, on top of being devastating, are estimated to cost around €15 million (US$17.7 million) per year.
“The value of a reindeer is greater than the paid compensation from the killed,” writes the Association. “It does not cover the loss of breeding and it takes at least three years to have another reindeer in a breeding age.”
Although this scheme hasn’t been widely rolled out yet, the Association isn’t giving up on the beloved animals. “There are some problems with the durability and utility,” it writes. “But the product development continues.”
Essentially, this acts as giving reindeers the equivalent of a reflective bicycle vest.
[via My Modern Met, image via Reindeer Herders Association]
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