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Svalbard Reindeer

Svalbard Reindeer

Love to walk around town

Svalbard Reindeer - urban and wild!

The Svalbard reindeer is a subspecies of the reindeer and can only be located on Svalbard. The Svalbard reindeer have no natural predators in Svalbard, and as a result they’re not particularly afraid of humans or other animals. You’ll often find them wandering right through Longyearbyen or lazily strolling along in the middle of the road, sometimes causing frustration on the part of drivers who simply have to wait until the reindeer have passed. Locals find themselves enjoying their morning coffee while watching the wild reindeer grassing just outside of the window.

They are unique compared to your average reindeer in that their characteristics are highly adapted to living this far north. With legs that are short and stocky, a short neck, a small head, tiny ears and a stout body, they’re perfectly equipped for the Arctic climate in Svalbard. Additionally they’ve got a thick and bright fur in the wintertime that could make even the tiniest of reindeer seem thick and fluffy.

Jan Nordvålen

Svalbard’s Rudolf is sweet-faced and stubby-legged, and is actually a very interesting animal. Did you know that there are about 10 000 Svalbard reindeer in total? That they are all wild, and can walk 5000 km in a year? That’s almost as far as London to New York! They spend almost all of their time eating in order to put on enough fat to help them survive the cold winter.

And not to mention, the Svalbardian Rudolf has a wonderful nose. It heats up the ice cold air from -40 degrees to +38 degrees celsius, before the air reaches the lungs. The colder it is, the more efficient the nose is.

We simply love our “wondeerful” neighbours! 

Visit Svalbard Eco-Lighthouse

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