“We have no choice and we can’t afford to wait any longer,” said Baer Omma, chairman of a Sami community responsible for watching over the reindeer herd.
Unseasonably mild weather has caused the animals major problems. As the wet snow has frozen it has formed a hard crust of ice, making it almost impossible for the reindeer to get through to their pasture.
Sami communities in the Västerbotten region of northern Sweden have already begun moving their reindeer to snow-free areas by the coast, according to reports in local media.
There are estimated to be a total of 56,000 reindeer in the Sami communities of Västerbotten, 50,000 of which are currently in danger of starvation.