More than 100 reindeer have been killed by freight trains in northern Norway in the past days in what has been called a senseless tragedy.
One train killed 65 deer on a track on Saturday while 41 died between Wednesday and Friday, the public broadcaster NRK reported late on Sunday.
“I’m so angry that I’m dizzy,” the owner of the 65 dead reindeer, Ole Henrik Kappfjell, told NRK. “It’s a senseless animal tragedy … a psychological nightmare.”
Norway is home to about 250,000 semi-domestic reindeer and most of them live in the far north of the country. At this time of year, herders take the reindeer to the winter pastures in search of grazing grounds, a perilous journey as many animals are hit by cars and trains. Some also drown.
Photos taken by the documentary filmmaker Jon Erling Utsi showed dead reindeer lying in the blood-stained snow. Some were shot after they were left wounded in Saturday’s incident. “It was a nightmare to watch,” he told NRK.
“The worst thing was the animals that were not killed in the accident. They were lying there, suffering. It was a bloodbath over several kilometres,” he added.
More than 2,000 reindeer were hit along the same northern railway line between 2013 and 2016.
The herders are demanding that the railway operator install a fence along the track but as yet there has been no funding.
This article was first published by The Guardian on 27 Nov 2017.