Reindeer crowd Norwegian tunnel to stay cool

Reindeer blocking a road - Courtesy of: Credit: Berit Keilen, Scanpix

Reindeer blocking a road - Courtesy of: Credit: Berit Keilen, Scanpix


There are plenty of reasons roads close in the summer. Parades, for example, or construction to fix the damage done by the winter. Well, what about a herd of reindeer? That's what is happening in a tunnel near Hammerfest, Norway.
For the past week, temperatures in the town of Finnmark have remained around 20 degrees. That makes the tunnel the perfect place to keep cool.

Tor Inge Hellander works for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. He tells As It Happens guest host Laura Lynch, no matter how hard he tries, the reindeer keep coming back. Crews attempt to scare-off the animals by honking a car horn. But, it isn't long before the herd, numbering around 15-to-20, return to the tunnel.

For drivers, it has been a small nuisance. Because the tunnel is part of a major highway, traffic has to be diverted.

Hellander tells Laura they will start working on a long-term solution in a few weeks: "We have to build a cattle guard outside the tunnel and that will prevent them from getting in."

When asked where the reindeer will go if they can't get inside the tunnel, Hellander laughs, "I don't really care. It's not my problem."

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