Glow in the Dark Antlers Protect Reindeer from Crashes

Anyone who has ever driven down a dark, winding road and swerved or slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting an animal knows how dangerous that situation can be. It’s a big problem in the United States with deer, and apparently, it’s an even bigger problem in Finland, where reindeer cause between 3,000-5,000 accidents per year. But Finnish reindeer breeders have come up with an intriguing – and offbeat – solution.

A reflective spray applied to reindeer antlers makes them more visible to drivers from a greater distance, helping to prevent accidents. Paint company Albedo 100 makes a special spray paint that only appears when bright line shines on it. A water-soluble version of the paint is applied to the reindeer fur, while a more permanent version goes on the antlers. It’s specially formulated for use on animals, though there’s no word on just what it contains. The video above shows it in use on horses and pets.

Reindeer herders have begun to try out the spray, and if the test is successful, they’ll paint more next autumn and track the impact on crash numbers throughout the season. In Finland, reindeer are privately owned and hunting is illegal, so it’s easier to keep track of (and paint) the animals. It’s clear that this would be harder to pull of in America, where deer are wild and only a small percentage grow antlers.

What do you think – is this a crazy idea, or an interesting solution to a troubling problem?

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