A large avalanche in Bøverdalen, Oppland killed around 200 reindeer on Tuesday. Herders watched helplessly as the animals were swept up in the avalanche, and had to euthanize dozens of injured deer.
The avalanche struck at half past 10 in the morning, running down into the valley in the Lom municipality. About 150 reindeer were found on or near the surface of the avalanche, and at least 50 animals were thought to have been trapped under the snow. “The herders saw the landslide go, then they had a full view, and quickly began euthanizing animals that were injured,” Magnar Hansen from local herding group Lom Tamreinlag told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “We’ve killed 15 to 20 animals.”
While there was not a lot of snow in the area, there were several dangerous drifts explained Hansen. It’s thought the reindeer triggered the avalanche themselves. He said the remainder won’t be dug out, but left until the snow begins to thaw.
Hansen said losing so many reindeer from the herd of 2,400 is an economic blow for the group, but also a tragedy for the herders who watched as their deer were taken by the avalanche. They planned to spend Wednesday regrouping the remainder of the herd.