Friday, December 18, 2009

reindeer kop kop kop

These photos were taken by Philip Burgess this December. He posted photos of his work with reindeer husbandry in Siberia on his Facebook page. This photo really mesmerized me. I thought it was a painting. Young reindeer in Yamal Peninsula, Siberia. Somewhere close to the Ob River in Panaevsk. You can find out where that is on the interactive map on the Reindeer Portal site.
I don't know much about reindeer but I'm guessing that the ones in the first photo are juveniles. Their fur seems soft like that of Ruby's, my friend Michele's new white german shepherd puppy. Also, their antlers are small twigs compared to the massive racks on the bigger reindeer. Philip, an Irishman, is currently working with EALAT Outreach workshops in the Yamal Peninsula.
I read on the Reindeer Portal that Philip linked to of the predicament of reindeer taken (displaced) to Britain for Santa performances, parades, to be rented out, and to be used for Christmas festivities to get people in the spirit. To stir up their feel-good nostalgia. The reindeer are suffering, however. I guess so. Who would think to bring reindeer, a creature of the far north, to England to perform for humans' entertainment? Among the many sufferings, a reindeer that had been (mis)named Mr. Frosty (like a caricature of a snowman) had to be put to death. Yesteryear it was captive bears trained to perform for humans, now it is reindeer. When will we learn to stop exploiting creatures for our fun and entertainment?
"Reindeer imported to Britain for Santa’s grottoes and festive parades are dying prematurely after exposure to diseases from British farm animals, a senior government vet has warned.
An official investigation has revealed a sharp increase in deaths in young reindeer, also linked to bad diet, poor welfare and the stress of being uprooted from their natural habitat."
The doctor who is conducting research explains that
Reindeer are highly specialised Arctic deer. The recent fashion of keeping them in captive situations many degrees south of their normal range is fraught with health and welfare issues.”
The warning comes amid greater commercial exploitation of the animals, which are now a common festive feature. Today, reindeer parades are planned in Birmingham and Middlesbrough, and others in cities across Britain."


tasteofbeirut said...

Unbelievable! Again, mankind shows its callousness in the treatment of defenseless animals!

Albert Lázaro-Tinaut said...

Very beautiful images from a lost Paradise...
Regards from Barcelona.

northshorewoman said...

tasteofbeirut, I kept thinking about those unfortunate reindeer displaced to Britain on my walk this morning with Musti and Tassu, who are dogs from the north. They get faster in freezing weather and don't do as well in warm. I can imagine how much worse it must be for reindeer who are much larger. Now, would anyone imagine bringing in polar bears to parade about the city? Of course not, as there would be a huge outcry. I hope more people learn of this outrage and speak out against it.

thank you, Albert for visiting. The photos are by my friend, Philip, who has a whole series of photos, of which these are just a handful. Siberia is a landscape of multiple histories, of which those not from there know so little. Best regards to sunny Barcelona!