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ANIMAL

Norway driver stopped with five reindeer in car

Lapland may be the mythical home of Santa Claus and his famous hoofed hauliers, but police in the far north of Norway were astonished recently to find three live local reindeer packed into the back seat of a car.

Norway driver stopped with five reindeer in car
Photo: Statens Vegvesen

On further inspection, the confounded officers spotted two more antlered heads sticking out of the luggage compartment when they stopped the driver of a Subaru Forester, newspaper VG reports.

None of the animals were wearing seatbelts.

Surprised by the fuss, the man behind the wheel of the SUV said he had received clearance from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority to transport five of his reindeer from Karasjok to Børselv, a journey of some 100 kilometres.

While that claim has not yet been verified, Frank Ove Eidem, an inspector for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, gave the impression of a man who by now had seen it all.

“There are no limits to what people will get up to in traffic. I’ve stopped being surprised,” he told VG.

Elsewhere in the far north of Norway, another man was pulled over recently after police spotted a bemused bovine face peering through the rear window of a Toyota Hiace.

“It’s just fortunate that things actually went alright with these drivers,” said Bjarne Sandnes at the roads authority. 

(Photo: Statens Vegvesen)

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WEATHER

Record Arctic heat drives reindeer into cool tunnels

Norwegian authorities have urged motorists to watch out for reindeer that are seeking refuge in tunnels to cool themselves amid extreme heat in the nation's far north.

Record Arctic heat drives reindeer into cool tunnels
File photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix

“It has been very hot for weeks in northern Norway,” Tore Lysberg, a senior official at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, told AFP on Thursday.

“The animals retreat to colder places, both reindeer and sheep find refuge in tunnels and shaded areas to cool down,” he said.

Although this phenomenon is nothing new, it could be intensified by record temperatures in Norway's northernmost regions.

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute posted a temperature of 31.2 degrees Celsius on Wednesday in Finnmark, a major reindeer herding region located within the Arctic Circle.

The region is so hot that it has experienced 12 “tropical” nights with evening temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius so far this year, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration said no serious accidents involving animals have been reported yet but described the situation as “a challenge”.

The government agency, which has multiplied its messages to raise awareness among motorists, should be helped by the weather, which is expected to return towards normal starting this weekend.

READ ALSO: Norwegians warned not to eat oysters after bacteria outbreak