Finns Coat Reindeer Antlers With Reflective Finish (Finnish?)


Reindeer are the fourth thing that the average person associates with Finland (after pony trekking, camping, and watching TV). The Finns have experienced a rise in car accidents involving their beloved caribou, especially during the dark winter months. High-speed collisions with animals that can grow to be over 300 pounds kill almost as many Finns as they do reindeer. Since reindeer are raised on farms in Finland, some herders have found a unique solution.

They cover the reindeer’s antlers with a clear coat of paint that will reflect the headlights of oncoming cars, allowing drivers to safely come to a stop before striking the animal. Fevered nightmares recollecting brief encounters with lightning-horned beasts will be a small price to pay for the health and safety of Finnish drivers. Female reindeer grow antlers just like the males, allowing this practice to protect entire herds. Reindeer calves (the baby kind, not legs) can be fitted with reflective devices to protect the young from being struck by vehicles.

The reflective antlers can also help herders oversee the reindeer, who are farmed for their meat. Some herders are exploring the effectiveness of spraying the reflective coat on the the bodies of the reindeer instead of the antlers. I don’t presume to know better than the Finnish Reindeer Herders’ Association, but be prepared for eight of these specular caribou to disappear shortly before next foggy Christmas Eve. His latest sled team just hasn’t been pulling their weight.

Via Gizmodo