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Reindeer Hope Collisions Glow Away

Friday, February 28, 2014

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Glowing reindeer are roaming around Finland, but instead of red noses lighting the way, these animals are equipped with fluorescent antlers. 

Twenty reindeer are currently testing out their painted head gear, designed to glow when light shines on it, according to the Finnish Reindeer Herders Association. 

As of 2005, there are about 207,000 reindeer in Finland, with reindeer husbandry areas covering about 33 percent of the country, according to ReindeerHerding.org

Lighting the Way 

These shining arctic deer aren't concerned with Santa's sleigh. Rather, the intention is to guide cars out of their paths. 

glowing reindeer
Facebook.com / Paliskuntain yhdistys

Finnish reindeer are getting a glowing paint job on their antlers to hopefully keep cars from striking them.

An average of 4,000 reindeer die in Finland each year after being struck by vehicles. Because of icy roads and earlier sunsets, most accidents happen in November and December, according to Smithsonian.com, citing Finnish newspaper Helsingen Sanomat.

"The goal is specifically to prevent road accidents," Anne Ollila, executive director of the association, told Finnish news source Yle.fi

"The spray is being tried on their fur, but it is maybe more effective on their antlers because the reflection can be seen in every direction," Ollila said. 

Unsuccessful attempts to keep the reindeer out of harm's way have included reflectors and reflective tape, but the animals tore them off. 

Now, the association is testing how durable the paint is under different weather conditions. The type of coating system was not disclosed.

If the current test reindeer show that the paint holds up and is harmless, more will be painted in the fall, USAToday.com reported

   

Tagged categories: Health and safety; Performance testing

Comment from J C, (2/28/2014, 9:25 AM)

This may be even better news to the animals that prey on Reindeer. Is making these beloved creatures a glowing target the best way to protect them?


Comment from Karen Fischer, (2/28/2014, 9:52 AM)

I wonder how much it is going to cost to rangle the ENTIRE reindeer population to paint every last one of them? Clearly, it will be the ones NOT painted that will still get hit by cars.


Comment from Adam Carter, (2/28/2014, 10:29 AM)

The paint is fluorescent, not phosphorescent, so they will only glow when being directly exposed to light, such as headlights from vehicles. So, unless someone else decides to help wolves get around at night by strapping flashlights on their heads, it shouldn't be a big deal.... ;-p


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