80 thousand deer in Arctic Russia under threat of starvation

80 thousand deer in Arctic Russia under threat of starvation

Shepherds on the Yamal Peninsula are desperate as thick layers of ice prevent their animals from gaining access to essential lichens for their food.

Locals in the far northern region of Russia estimate that 60,000 to 80,000 animals may have starved to death in recent winter months.

Reindeer usually manage to dig in the snow to gain access to their favorite food, lichen, but this year the ground is covered in unbreakable ice.

Up to three centimeters of ice cover the ground.

“Reindeer cannot forage, weak animals die quickly and the rest of the herd lose strength,” said local shepherd Eiko Serotetto.

“If this continues, 300 families in the Seyakha village will be left completely without livestock – all the animals will die.”

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