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More than 100 reindeer were killed by freight trains in three days


A Norwegian reindeer herder says that freight trains have killed 106 of the animals during a three-day span.

Torstein Appfjell on Sunday said that the worst part of the bloodshed happened the day before when 65 of the mammals were mowed down.

The herder also noted that it is “totally tragic” and “unprecedented” for so many reindeer to die in such a fashion.

Appfjell represents four families in Norway’s Helgeland county with a total of about 2,000 reindeer.

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The Norwegian noted 250 animals were killed in train accidents during the worst previous 12-month period before this year’s losses, which occurred between last Thursday and Saturday.

Documentary filmmaker Jon Erling Utsi on Sunday told NRK, a Norwegian public broadcaster, that he had photographed some of the dead reindeer in blood-stained snow the day before.

“It was a nightmare to watch,” he said, noting that some of the animals were fatally shot following their wounding in Saturday’s incident.

“The worst thing was the animals that were not killed in the accident,” Utsi added. “They were lying there, suffering. It was a bloodbath over several kilometers.”

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Agence France-Presse on Monday reported that Norway is home to roughly 250,000 semi-domestic reindeer, with most of them living in the country’s far north.

Herders guide the animals to their winter pastures around this time each year in search of fresh grazing areas.

More than 2,000 reindeer were hit along the same northern railway line in Norway between 2013 and 2016.

The animals’ caretakers are now demanding that the train operator install a fence along the track involved in the recent bloodshed, but there has not yet been any funding for the project.

Norway’s VG newspaper on Monday reported that Bane NOR, which owns the trains, has since reduced speeds in the area.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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