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Domestic reindeer in Russia's Far East have left farms for the wild

Nov. 13, 2013 at 5:07 PM

YAKUTSK, Russia, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- About 1,000 reindeer from domestic herds are on the run in Siberia, migrating with their wild cousins, Russian officials said Wednesday.

Helicopters are being used in northern Yakutia to track down the missing deer, RIA Novosti reported. About a million rubles ($30,400) has been allocated to the effort.

In a region of permafrost, the local inhabitants live mostly by reindeer farming. They depend on the animals for food and use the skins for clothes and food.

Officials said the wild reindeer changed their migratory pattern this year with the cause still unknown. They passed through grazing areas for domestic deer, who followed their instincts and the wild deer and took off.

"The loss of reindeer is an emergency situation for the farms," district head Alexander Ivanov, the district head, told, News,Ykt.ru, a Yakutsk news website. "The economy in the district, salaries and subsidies depend on their quantity."

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