Reindeer Starve In Iced Pastures

More than 6,000 reindeer have starved to death in Russia’s far northeast, and Chukchi herders are driving their surviving animals to distant pastures in an effort to save the herd.

About 70 percent of pastures on the Chukotka Peninsula became encased in ice after heavy rains in November, making it impossible for the reindeer to reach the grass.

Losses have reached more than $1.1 million, regional civil defense chief Yuri Zhulin told the ITAR-Tass news agency on Saturday. He said the region had never before been so iced over in recent memory.

A total of 6,200 reindeer have died out of a population of 240,000, Zhulin said. On Tuesday, he had estimated about 3,000 dead.

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