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When it comes to Finland, Ruldolph’s not the only reindeer one glowing

Reindeer at the Cairgorm Herd, are fed on Dec. 22, 2012 in Aviemore, Scotland.
Reindeer at the Cairgorm Herd, are fed on Dec. 22, 2012 in Aviemore, Scotland.
Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

No, it might not be their noses, and they definitely still can’t fly, but herders in Finland have turned to painting reindeer antlers with a luminous paint so they glow in the dark, according to a report today from Newser.

Finnish reindeer herders, according to the BBC, are testing the spray with the hope that the glow in the dark experiment will cut down on traffic accidents caused by the animals.

"The aim is to prevent traffic accidents,” said Anne Ollila, chairwoman of Finland’s Reindeer Herders Association.

Some 4,000 reindeer die in traffic accidents yearly in Finland, according to the report, with especially high rates of incidents in the darker winter months of November and December, when roads are icy.

For now, herders are only testing the spray, especially where it may be most effective, the fur or the antlers.

“The spray is being tested on fur at the moment, but it may be even more effective on the antlers, because they are seen from every side," Ollila said.

In an interview with Agence France-Presse, Ollila revealed that trials began last week with a washable spray being administered to the reindeer’s fur and a more permanent version applied to the antlers.

This isn’t the first attempt to make the animals more visible to oncoming cars, as The Telegraph reported in 2010 that some 2,000 reindeer in Norway had been fitted with reflective yellow collars or antler tags to reduce deaths.