A startled reindeer bolted out of a Tesco car park during a Christmas event at Carlton Hill in Nottingham on Sunday after hearing a car horn blast.
Amazed motorists saw Bjorn the reindeer galloping down the street on Sunday morning. Bjorn was later found in a nearby garden and taken back to safety.
Warren Porter, from Sherwood, one of the motorists surprised by the large animal, said:
“It was one of the weirdest unexpected sights I will ever witness. I was driving down Carlton Hill and saw what I thought was a massive dog running up the pavement.”
It’s not everyday that people in Nottingham get to see a reindeer galloping down the street. The streetwise animal clearly had the sense to run on the pavement. (Image: Warren Porter Twitter)
“I locked my doors and thought ‘you’re not getting in here, I’ve got carrots in my boot’. As it ran past, a woman dressed in festive gear was chasing up the road with a rope. You couldn’t create a story like that.”
The Animal Company, based at Great Haywood, Stafford, the event organisers, said the reindeer got away after slipping its rope. Bjorn was later lured back into their truck.
The reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), often called caribou in North America, is a species of deer found in the colder regions of northern Europe, Siberia, North America, the Subarctic and Arctic.
They vary considerably in size and colour. In most cases, both the males and females grow antlers (larger on males).
For many people in the Arctic and Subarctic regions, the hunting of wild reindeer and herding of semi-domesticated animals – for milk, transportation, antlers, hides and meat – represent an important source of income.
According to The Animal Company “Our reindeer are trained to a high standard; they are used to crowds, noise and flash photography.” (Image: The Animal Company)
Females usually measure from 64 to 81 inches (162 to 205 cm) in length and weigh from 180 to 260 pounds (80 to 120 kg). Bulls (males) are larger, measuring from 71 to 84 inches (180 to 214 cm) in length and weighing from 351 to 401 pounds (159 to 182 kg).
Some exceptionally large bulls are known to have weighed in at 701 pounds (318 kg).
Reindeer are ruminants (even-toed ungulate mammals that chew the cud), and have a four-chambered stomach. In winter they mainly eat lichens, especially reindeer moss. They also eat the leaves of birches and willows, as well as sedges and grasses.
When especially hungry, they may eat small rodents such lemmings, as well as bird eggs.
Video – The reindeer people