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Swedish reindeer settling into new Scottish digs

Radio SwedenEye on the Arctic

A herd of more than 30 Swedish Sami reindeer are enjoying a new life in the Scottish Cairngorm mountains after being hand picked a year ago from the Jokkmokk area to boost the gene pool of a Scottish herd that has its roots in northern Sweden.

Swedish reindeer herder Mikel Utsi reintroduced reindeer into Scotland in 1952 as an experiment to see if the Swedish breed would survive in the Cairngorm mountains.

Sixty years later the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd remains, but owner Tilly Smith and her husband Alan realized they need to introduce fresh reindeer to broaden the gene pool, and they turned to Sweden and the Utsi family.

Tilly Smith tells Radio Sweden that the little Swedish reindeer are thriving and have been on the road in the United Kingdom with the adult herd to see what life is like pulling children in sleigh rides, a common chore during the Christmas period.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.