Specialists of the Sakhalin Zoo and Botanical Park performed a procedure for cutting off the grown antlers of a male reindeer named Sven. This is done every year to ensure the safety of the attendants and the well-being of the doe and calf.
The head of the veterinary sector, Andrei Zaitsev, explained to SakhalinMedia news agency that horns are formed from cartilage and are overgrown with bone tissue. Sawing them is an absolutely safe and painless procedure for animals. It can be compared to nail trimming.
Sven’s horns grew by more than 1 m in a year. They became branched, and their weight exceeded 20 kg. The animal entered the rut, and the horns turned into a real thrusting tool. Sharp edges can cause severe injury. The saw cut also stops the rut, which turns males into very aggressive and very dangerous animals, which is unacceptable in a zoo, said Irina Belozerova, head of the hoofed sector.
Horns were cut down by a veterinarian, having put Sven to sleep. The deer endured the operation calmly, after waking up he began to eat and walk in a separate enclosure.
The cut horns will be used in the zoo as a mineral supplement to food and natural samples in educational events.