• Sweden edition
 
Pregnant reindeer death shock: 'they all exploded'

Pregnant reindeer death shock: 'they all exploded'

Published: 10 May 2012 15:22 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 May 2012 15:22 GMT+02:00

"It's just terrible," Kjell-Åke Pittsa, chair of the Unna Tjerusj Sami village to which the herd belonged, told The Local.

"All of them jumped off the cliff and plunged to their deaths."

The grisly discovery was made on Wednesday by a reindeer herder who traveled up in the mountainous region on the edge of the Stora Sjöfallet National Park following several days of harsh weather to check on the condition of the reindeer.

According to Pittsa, the reindeer were in the midst of calving when the tragedy occurred.

"They were all about to give birth," he said.

Pittsa explained that there is only one plausible culprit for the mass reindeer death.

"They were hunted by a wolverine and were driven into a panic and had nowhere to go but over the cliff," he said.

He theorized as well that a mixture of poor visibility and panic may have resulted in the frenzied reindeer failing to realize they were heading toward the cliff as they fled from the menacing wolverine.

While it remains unclear exactly how many reindeer perished in the incident, Pittsa estimated that around 30 animals died when they slammed into the ground below.

According to Pittsa, the precipice from which the reindeer leapt has an elevation of 1,200 metres, while the ledge onto which they crashed has an elevation of around 400 metres, meaning the reindeer flew about 800 metres to their deaths.

"They just exploded," he said, adding that the hillside was also strewn with the remains of unborn reindeer.

"Every black dot you see in the pictures is a piece of reindeer."

The incident has left Pittsa and other members of the Unna Tjerusj Sami village shaken.

"Nothing like this has ever happened to us before," he said.

"When a predator gets a single reindeer, that's something we can accept. But this is really tough."

David Landes

Follow David Landes on Twitter

Your comments about this article

16:36 May 10, 2012 by Bob Jacobson
Why are they so certain it was a wolverine? It sounds strange that reindeer accustomed to dealing with predators in mountainous terrain would not have an alternative way to deal with a wolverine besides all committing suicide.
16:56 May 10, 2012 by millionmileman
First we have Lemmings now Raindeer. What is this Swedish animal phenomena?
17:13 May 10, 2012 by Insweden
I like Sami people, but I have to admit they are always very quick in blaming predators for any possible problem. What happened seems very strange to me. Knowing a little bit about nature myself, I'd rather be careful to talk about a wolverine related problem.
17:48 May 10, 2012 by jack sprat
Obviously something spooked them and as a herd they reacted and panicked together as one,a normal reaction, even though they may not all have been aware of what the supposed threat actually was.

Bad visibility could have played a part, so even if the leaders spotted the dangerous drop at the last moment,the momentum of the unsighted followers would carry them all over.

I've seen similar reactions in herds of deer, though not in the vicinity of a 1200 mtr cliff and not with such tragic consequences, which were obviously dictated by the circumstances.
18:18 May 10, 2012 by Opinionfool
@millionmileman

Where was the Disney film crew hiding this time? That lemming scene was entirely out of Walt's head. So which one of them thought that forcing pregnant reindeer over a cliff would make for a good film this time.
21:31 May 10, 2012 by johan rebel
Why are they blaming a predator? Because the Swedish taxpayer has to pay for each and every reindeer killed by one, that's why!
00:18 May 11, 2012 by nar klockan klamtar
A low flying helicopter is the likely culprit.
06:29 May 11, 2012 by calebian22
And here is the link that shows why Johan Rebel is absolutely correct.

http://www.naturvardsverket.se/In-English/Start/Nature-conservation-and-wildlife/The-large-predators/Grants-and-compensation-for-damage/
16:27 May 11, 2012 by tadchem
Look for a VERY wel-fed wolverine.
15:18 May 12, 2012 by skylarkpilot
And I thought it was only Swedish people that had suicidal tendencies !
16:23 May 14, 2012 by Yeshua Norge
It instantly reminded me of the Biblical account when Jesus met a demon possessed man as recorded in Matthew 8:28-34.

Two men who were possessed by demons met Jesus. They lived in a cemetery and were so violent that no one could go through that area.

They began screaming at him, "Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God's appointed time?"

There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding in the distance. So the demons begged, "If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs."

"All right, go!" Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.

Additionally, there has been an increase in UFO activity in Sweden lately. It certainly is very strange and very much out of the ordinary.
Today's headlines
Politics
Nuclear freeze agreed by new government
A nuclear power station in Forsmark, Sweden. Photo: TT

Nuclear freeze agreed by new government

Sweden's Social Democrats and Greens Party have announced a coalition agreement to halt nuclear energy development. READ  

International
Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' asylum
A Swedish soldier in Afghanistan. Photo: TT

Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' asylum

The Migration Court in Malmö has ruled that Sweden's Migration Board was wrong to reject the residence applications of seven Afghan interpreters without assessing their protection needs. READ  

The Local List
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
Speak Percussion will perform at Connect in Malmö in November. Photo: Connect

Top five winter festivals in Sweden

Autumn has swept into the country and chilly days lie ahead. But there are plenty of winter festivals where you can warm up in the coming months. With tickets already selling fast, here are The Local's top tips. READ  

Business
Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers
Workers at the Saab plant in Trollhättan. Photo: TT

Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers

Swedish car maker Saab has announced it has axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce. READ  

International
Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale
A Danish site is selling the works that the Swedish state wants destroyed. Screenshot: www.entartetekunst.dk

Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale

Work by controversial jailed Swedish artist Dan Park is on sale online and could reach a gallery in Copenhagen, despite a previous exhibition being pulled. READ  

Society
Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old
Pensioners in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old

Sweden has dropped to second place in an annual index measuring the quality of life of elderly people in 96 countries around the world. READ  

National
Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche
Andreas Fransson, left. Photo: Markus Alatalo

Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche

UPDATED: The bodies of two of the world's top skiers, Sweden's Andreas Fransson and JP Auclair from Canada, were found on Tuesday after they were reported missing in an avalanche in the Andes. READ  

Politics
Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs

UPDATED: The Social Democrats and the Greens have agreed to raise unemployment payments and promised to create more jobs in the construction industry, The Local has learned. READ  

National
Ikea recalls elk pasta
Two types of pasta are affected. Photo: IKEA

Ikea recalls elk pasta

Ikea has pulled two different types of elk-shaped pasta from its stores in Sweden. READ  

Presented by Regus
How to get your own great office in Stockholm
A woman using a Regus workspace. Photo: Regus

How to get your own great office in Stockholm

Stockholm's business climate is hotter than ever, which leaves start-ups and business travellers hunting high and low for flexible office space. The solution is easier than they think. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Apology for Swedish model's stolen photos
Politics
New coalition agrees on defence and migration
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Botkyrka
Education
New government to make school compulsory to 18
Politics
Sweden Democrat wins Deputy Speaker spot
Blog updates

28 September

Spoiled Doyle (Blogweiser) »

"What you gotta watch out for in Sweden is the good stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re_EzUe6xpI In Sweden, it’s the good things you have to watch out for. Video on @TheLocalSweden http://t.co/rAb8eGFdTD pic.twitter.com/w37YYwMXy1 — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 29, 2014 " READ »

 

26 September

 (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Autumn swept into Sweden at the start of this week with snow in the north of the country and flooding in the south. As well as a change in the weather, Sweden’s change in political direction became clearer, with Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven formally announcing his party would work with the Greens as..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish scientists sneak Bob Dylan lyrics into articles
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
National
When Italian style meets Swedish simplicity
Lifestyle
Review: Sweden's first alcohol-free nightclub
Gallery
In Pictures: The MS Estonia disaster
Lifestyle
Ten things expat women notice in Sweden
Politics
What's next on Sweden's political stage?
Gallery
Sweden's 2014 election: Most memorable moments
Society
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 24th
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
Lifestyle
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Gallery
In Pictures: Fredrik Reinfeldt through the years.
Society
Plucked out of Canada for love and guitars
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

866
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN