Thirteen reindeer were killed after being hit by a pickup truck on the road leading to Kárahnjúkar dam in the eastern highlands yesterday. Ten animals died immediately, but three were seriously injured and had to be put to death.
According to police in Seydisfjördur, who are investigating the accident, the weather was fine at the time of the accident, though conditions were dark and icy. The driver said the herd of reindeer had suddenly jumped straight in front of his truck and that he had not seen them until it was too late, Morgunbladid reports.
Recently, two other reindeer were killed in traffic accidents.
Skarphédinn G. Thórisson, an expert of reindeer at the East Iceland Institute of Natural History, said collisions with reindeer have increased significantly since 2003 because more roads have been constructed through traditional reindeer territory, like the road to Kárahnjúkar.
Thórisson has requested that the Public Road Administration put up signs in areas where reindeer are most likely to cross roads to remind drivers that they have to pay attention and drive carefully, especially in the dark.