High-speed train killing lots of reindeer

March 12, 2012 at 10:26 AM

LYCKSELE, Sweden, March 12 (UPI) -- A high-speed train in northern Sweden has killed about 200 reindeer since it opened three months ago, officials said.

Finding a dead deer along the train line, which runs between Umea and Lycksele, is a daily occurrence for reindeer owner Per-Mikael Jonsson, The Local reported Monday.

"It's been the worst winter I've experienced in the whole of my life when it comes to deer getting hit by trains," Jonsson said.

Jonsson, the chairman of the Rans community, has brought the issue to the train company, Botniatag AB, but said he has gotten little response.

"This year, they've provided a shuttle service from Lycksele and increased the speed of the train so it's like having a meat grinder that goes past," Jonsson said.

The train company pays 3,000 kronor ($441) for each deer hit, but Jonsson said that's not good enough. Jonsson was forced to move his herd into the mountains and away from the train earlier than normal to avoid more of his deer being hit.

"For my family, this is about a couple hundred thousand kronor that we must go without. We can't afford to keep sacrificing the herd to the train traffic," he said.

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