A new experiment involving the protection of free-roaming reindeer may just be inspired by Rudolph’s most virtuous characteristic. The project involves coating reindeer antlers with a specially formulated glow-in-the-dark liquid that aims to reduce reindeer-related traffic accidents. Spearheaded by the Reindeer Herder’s Association, the fluorescent dye could address the loss of livestock by the herders and prevent damage or death resulting from traffic-related accidents of which an estimated 2,000 to 5,000 occur per year.
The association, having failed in their initial idea to use adhesive reflectors are testing two types of glow-in-the-dark liquid, one meant for antlers and another meant for fur. The initiative would only apply to around 200,000 domesticated reindeer, which are largely left to roam the northern Lapland of Finland by their herders. Testing is now focused on observing reindeer reactions to their laminated peers and whether the paint is durable enough to resist the cold climate. Success in this endeavor stands to benefit the herders, community, and of course, the reindeer.