IN PICS: Reindeer take awesome photos on ice

A group of reindeer in Norway have taken intimate pictures of their own lives, after researchers hung cameras around their necks and left them for four years as the animals roamed.

IN PICS: Reindeer take awesome photos on ice
A reindeer mother photographs her newly born calf. Photo: Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)
The animals, who were also fitted with GPS tags, took a total of 140,000 photos over a four-year period, most of which were just fur. But the few that worked have created a unique close-up record of the extraordinary lives of the animals.
“There’s something about the reindeer, you know,” Olav Strand, the researcher for  the Norwegian Institute of Nature Research (Nina) behind the project, told NRK.  
“Think about it: in the worst storms there have ever been, even in the middle of winter in the snow and cold, the reindeer have been there, and they survive. We know that, but we’ve never been able to see it – until now.” 
Strand, who is based in Trondheim, has been observing reindeer for decades but wanted to find a way to observe the animals throughout the year. 
A book of the images, ‘Midt i flokken’, or ‘In the Middle of the Pack’, will be published this month by the Norwegian publisher Kom Forlag. 

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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.

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