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Beheaded reindeer corpses to rot in Norway

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Beheaded reindeer corpses to rot in Norway
The reindeer are in a secluded area so their bodies pose no threat. Photo: Håvard Kjøtvedt/Statens naturoppsyn/Miljødirektoratet / NTB scanpix
16:17 CEST+02:00
The corpses of 323 reindeer that died from a lightning strike in a small area south of Hardangervidda will not be removed from the plateau.
“We have no plans to bring animals out of the plateau,” Erik Lund, an official with the Norwegian Environment Agency, told broadcaster NRK.
 
Lund says the presence of dead animals is common in nature, although the sheer number of the dead reindeer is rather unusual. 
 
The herd was found dead nowhere near tourist trails or important water sources, so Lund said their bodies pose no danger. 
 
The 322 reindeer are believed to have been killed by lightning on Friday.
 
 
On Sunday, a group of experts was on site to take samples of the dead animals. The heads have been cut off the adults so that they can be sampled for brain tissue. 
 
The Norwegian Veterinary Institute has so far received 35 results from the samples and said that no presence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was detected, the institute's Kristian Hoel told VG. 
 
Four cases of CWD have been discovered in Norway this year. The disease has never been transmitted from animals to humans, but is fatal to members of the deer family.
 
Hardangervidda plateau is a national park where Europe's largest herd of some 10,000 wild reindeer roam freely. Nationwide, there are some 25,000 wild tundra reindeer, according to experts.
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