Soon, children expecting presents the world over will be watching and listening for reindeer. And in Russia, criminals on the run from police may soon be doing the same.
Siberian authorities are considering employing reindeer, known as caribou in America, to combat crime in the perpetually frozen region.
Many places in northern Russia are only accessible by riding sledges pulled by reindeer, making it difficult to pursue suspects using traditional means. Already criminals use the animals to regularly escape justice.
The local police force currently uses snowmobiles, but these frequently break down or run out of gas in remote areas. Reindeer, on the other hand, or naturally well-equipped to handle frigid weather, and only need a little bread and moss to keep running.
Police have been asking for reindeer assistance since as far back as 2012.
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While Russia has a lot of modern technology, it still relies on animal assistance for much of its military and law enforcement. The Russian Navy uses 'combat dolphins' to locate underwater mines, and military troops often utilize donkeys and mules to traverse mountains. Finnish police have also used reindeer during patrols for years.
So if Donner, Dasher, Blitzen and the others need work in the offseason, the Siberian cops may have something for them. Rudolph could also lead the crew, because that nose would make for some great emergency lights during a high-speed chase.