Reindeer get fluorescent antlers

HELSINKI — Rudolph the reindeer is having a glittering antler makeover — the latest attempt to halt some of the thousands of road deaths of the roaming caribou in the wilds of Finland.

Anne Ollila of the Reindeer Herder’s Association said the antlers of 20 reindeer have been painted with fluorescent dyes to see how the animals react and whether the paints are resistant to the Arctic climate.

If successful, animals with glittering antlers will be free to roam Lapland — a vast, deserted area in northern Finland where herders tend to some 200,000 reindeer.

Ollila said reflectors and reflective tape have proven unsuccessful as reindeer have torn them off — and road signs warning drivers of roaming reindeer often are stolen by tourists as souvenirs.

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