Finnish conscripts injured in attempt to avoid reindeer

International

FILE – In this March 2013 file photo, A Sami handler in traditional clothing holds two of his reindeer herd in Saariselka, Finnish Lapland. The Finnish Defense Forces says 12 military conscripts ended up in the hospital after an armored personnel carrier tried to avert a reindeer and was hit by a second vehicle. The defense forces said five men remained under observation on Wednesday while the rest have returned to training after Tuesday’s crash in Finland’s Lapland region. (AP Photo/ David McDougall, File)

HELSINKI (AP) — Finland’s defense department says 12 military conscripts ended up in the hospital after an armored personnel carrier tried to avert a reindeer and was hit by a second vehicle.

The Finnish Defense Forces said five of the injured recruits remained under observation on Wednesday. The rest have returned to training after Tuesday’s crash in Finland’s Lapland region.

Reindeer wander the vast, deserted region in northern Finland. It’s not unusual for herders there to tend to as many as 200,000.

Thousands of the roaming caribou are hit by vehicles and die on Lapland’s roads. Herders paint antlers in fluorescent colors, hang reflectors around the necks of reindeer, and use movable traffic signs to try to keep their herds from getting killed.

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