The Finnish government has embarked on a pilot project that involves spraying a special glow-in-the-dark liquid on reindeer in an attempt to prevent traffic accidents. It’s estimated that the local reindeer population is involved in between 3,000 and 5,000 traffic accidents each year, which often lead to severe injuries or death. Past efforts to protect the reindeer by attaching reflectors and reflective tape to them have proven unsuccessful, which is what prompted the country’s Reindeer Herders’ Association to try the glow-in-the-dark spray instead.

Finland, reindeer, fiddish reindeer protection program, glow in the dark reindeer, Reindeer Herders' Association, glowing reindeer, animal protectio

The initial trial period that started last week involved spraying 20 reindeer in the sparsely-populated Lapland region of northern Finland where the reindeer count is approximately 200,000. The animals were sprayed with two types of reflective liquid, including a permanent coating for the antlers and a temporary liquid for the reindeers’ coat.

Head of the Reindeer Herders’ Association, Anne Ollilia explained that the project has begun as an experiment, but if successful, the association hopes to use the spray on all reindeer throughout the country by next autumn.


Photography by Anne Ollila