Incredible photo shows reindeer herder on skis lead animals down snowy Scottish mountain

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Reindeer follow skiier - Scottish News
Lotti Papastavrou Brooks laid tracks for the reindeer with her skiis. (Image: The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd/Ruth Molloy)

AN INCREDIBLE image shows a herder leading more than 70 reindeer down a Scottish mountain while on a pair of skis.

Lotti Papastavrou Brooks who has the “best job in the world” was pictured directing an orderly queue of the animals down the Cairngorm mountains near Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands yesterday.

The 23-year-old is shown beaming at the camera, wearing her full ski gear, including ski poles, while heavy snow surrounds her and her herd.

Around 75 reindeer are shown following her walking in her ski tracks as they snake down the mountain.

Lotti used skis to herd the animals for two miles down the hill so that they could access more food.

Reindeer moving down mountain - Scottish news
Reindeer moving down the mountain last month. (The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd)

The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd shared the amazing shot on their Facebook page yesterday, writing: “The snow is so deep at the moment that the best way to herd reindeer is on skis!”

The image has attracted almost 2,000 likes, with many viewers branding it “the best job” to have.

Fiona Reynolds wrote: “As if you didn’t have the best job ever, you also get to ski! Love it!”

Julie Patton said: “That’s the perfect job! Are you hiring because I will relocate?!”

Annie Forwood commented: “True Nordic style! Fantastic photo, great promo shot.”

And Carola de Raaf added: “Brilliant picture.”

One Facebook user, Nicky Agar, joked: “Look at them, all in a long line. They look like they’re queueing to buy toilet roll.”

Reindeer with snow on - Scottish News
The reindeer have felt right at home with the snowfall this week.
(The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd)

Speaking today Andi Probert, a reindeer herder at the centre, said: “We’ve probably got about 150 free-ranging reindeer altogether.

“There were probably about 75 in that herd.

“The reindeer are in their own habitat and pretty self-sufficient so can feed themselves but we do our best to feed them too.

“When it’s snowy, it’s a lot easier to get on skis.

“They’re quite sensible so will follow the track. All of us have a call that the reindeer know so if they are hungry they will come.

“We usually have a bag of food too which we shake around.

“We feed them everyday. There will be someone out right now feeding them. It’s a lot easier on skis.

“Lotti wouldn’t have been at full speed there, she would have had to slow down so they could keep up.

Reindeer herd Lotti Brooks - Scottish News
Reindeer her Lotti has “the best job in the world”. (Image: The Cairngorm Reindeer Herd)

“They do love running but maybe not that fast.”

Cairngorm Reindeer Centre is the only free-range reindeer area in the UK.

The deer usually fend for themselves, but are offered extra food of hay,garlic, barley, sugar beet and dark grain by herders.

Reindeer are believed to be native to Scotland, but became extinct around 800 years ago due to over-hunting.

In 1952, the site in the Cairngorms became the first place in the UK in which the animals were reintroduced.

Swedish herder Mikel Utsi visited the area with his wife and decided it was the perfect location for them.

There are around 150 reindeer in the herd, mostly ranging on the Cairngorm Mountains with the remainder on the Glenlivet Estate, the locations being some 30 miles apart.

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