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article imageEscaped reindeer runs through city centre

By Lynn Curwin     Dec 19, 2010 in World
Sunderland - An escaped reindeer was recorded on CCTV as it ran along a street in the city of Sunderland after jumping out of its pen to avoid a dog.
A two-year-old male reindeer called Gnu, who was one of the animals at Mowbray Park’s Lapland Village, became frightened with a dog got into the enclosure with him. He jumped a four-foot fence and went on a 20-minute flight, leaving shoppers staring in amazement as he went through the city centre on December 16.
CCTV cameras at a garage owned by George Fraser captured images of the animal as it passed.
"We were standing in the forecourt of the garage and I just caught a glance of something,” the BBC quoted Olive Fraser, George’s wife, as saying.
"I knew it was too big for a dog, but only saw the back end of it."
Denny Wilson, the senior councillor responsible for festive attractions in Sunderland, was showing someone the area when he saw the reindeer go by.
“We were talking about going back up to see the reindeer in Mowbray Park when all of a sudden one walked down the street – that was quite a surprise,” he told The Sunderland Echo.
Herder Andy Probert said reindeer are very scared of dogs.
“Also, because they live in herds, being separated from the rest of the reindeer was distressing for him as well,” he told The Echo. “But he’s fine now. He’s been eating as normal.”
Gnu is resting at a nearby farm and is scheduled to return to the Cairngorm National Park, in Scotland, earlier than had been planned. He will be replaced by another animal.
All of the reindeer will be back at the Cairngorms on December 23.
The fence at the park has been increased to more than five feet in height and dog owners are urged to keep their pets under control.
On December 11 a reindeer escaped through a gate at a park in Norfolk but was killed when it was hit by a car.
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