Lapland may be the mythical home of Santa Claus and his famous hoofed hauliers, but police in the far north of Norway were astonished recently to find three live reindeer packed into the back seat of a car.
On further inspection, the confounded officers spotted two more antlered heads sticking out of the luggage compartment when they stopped the driver of a Subaru Forester. None of the animals were wearing seatbelts.
Surprised by the fuss, the man behind the wheel of the SUV said he had received clearance from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority to transport five of his reindeer from Karasjok to Børselv, a journey of some 100 kilometres.
While that claim has not yet been verified, Frank Ove Eidem, an inspector for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, gave the impression of a man who by now had seen it all. “There are no limits to what people will get up to in traffic. I’ve stopped being surprised,” he said.