42 animals seeking better pastures and grazing land have crossed into its eastern neighbor this year. It is a costly stroll, and it is strictly forbidden to cross the border from Norway to Russia – for reindeer too.
Therefore, Norway is rebuilding a dilapidated reindeer fence along its border with Russia in the Arctic to stop the animals from wandering into the neighboring country. These are costly strolls for Oslo, which has to compensate Moscow over loss of grassland. Russian authorities have demanded millions of dollars in damages from its neighbor, saying the animals eat away moss and shrubs and trample ground vegetation — which has purportedly led to soil erosion and plant life degradation.
Of the 42 ‘refugees’, 40 have been brought back to Norway and the remaining two are expected to come back soon. Russia claims 50,000 kroner ($4,700) per reindeer per day crossing into Russia, so it’s a rather costly excursion.
The fence spanning some 150 kilometers (93 miles) along the Russia-Norway border dates back to 1954 and was constructed to prevent cross-border movement by the animals. Norwegian authorities say they will now upgrade a stretch of about 7 kilometers (4 miles) to stop its reindeer from making crossings over the international boundary. It is the fence installed between the Norwegian towns of Hamborgvatnet and Storskog that will be replaced.
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This way Norway hopes to save money from Russia with this €500,000 fence fix to stop the Sámi reindeer herds crossing the border. The reindeer, bred by the indigenous Sami reindeer herders that span northern Europe, are semi-nomadic and travel across vast expanses as they move between their winter and summer grazing grounds.
You may also like to read Bridges for Reindeer in Sweden and Moose in Norway Save Lives for Animals as Well as Humans. Click the image below.
Rebuilding the fence is a challenge, as the workers have to stay on the Norwegian side of the border “at all times” during construction, “which makes the work extra demanding,” said Magnar Evertsen of the Norwegian agency. If a worker crossed into Russian territory, without a Russian visa, that would amount to illegal entry.
It Is Strictly Forbidden To Cross the Border from Norway to Russia – for Reindeer Too, written by Tor Kjolberg