MOSCOW, February 4 (RIA Novosti) – A Ural Mountain residence of Russia’s equivalent of Santa Claus, Father Frost, has been accused of smuggling reindeer, a media report said Tuesday.
A senior veterinary official in the Sverdlovsk Region, where the residence is located, said the outfit’s management illegally transported two reindeer without a proper veterinary inspection and required documentation.
Natalya Guryeva told online tabloid Life News that the reindeer were shipped to the region last year to serve as part Father Frost’s entourage at his house outside the regional capital, Yekaterinburg.
Guryeva said the business faces misdemeanor charges in connection with the incident.
The business’s director, Natalya Skorokhodova, however, insisted that she obtained all the necessary papers for the reindeer, but declined further comment, Life News reported.
Meanwhile, the two reindeer, Belyak and Snezhinka, whose names are derived from the Russian words for “white” and “snow,” have reportedly been placed in quarantine.
The two animals had already made headlines in local press when they ran away from the residence on New Year’s Eve. They were discovered the next day by children in a nearby village.