HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — Gov. Wolf, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and State Veterinarian Dr. Kevin Brightbill got together with Santa Claus and his nine reindeer to announce that the reindeer have received a clean bill of health and are approved for flight in Pennsylvania on Christmas Eve.
“I’m excited to announce that Santa’s reindeer are in good health–despite one’s very bright red nose–and ready to deliver toys to the good girls and boys of Pennsylvania tomorrow evening,” Governor Wolf said. “I’m grateful to the Department of Agriculture for coordinating to ensure not only a merry Christmas morning across the commonwealth but keep animals in Pennsylvania safe and healthy. All nine reindeer are physically fit and in good spirits, they’re ready to fly this holiday season.”
All of Santa’s reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph got cleared to fly to Pa. from Dr. Robert Gerlach. They received a certificate to verify they can fly from rooftop to rooftop across the state to deliver presents on Christmas Eve.
“Thanks to Dr. Brightbill and his counterpart in Alaska, we can certify Santa’s reindeer are healthy and can safely fly across state lines,” Secretary Redding said. “Veterinary health inspections are a great preventative measure to ensure animals are healthy and able to travel. We greatly appreciate Santa taking these necessary steps to promote the wellbeing of his reindeer.”
Veterinary health certificates are required as an assurance to prevent contagious diseases from crossing state borders. Pa. Department of Agriculture veterinarians give out these certifications and inspections for animals in Pa. before going out of state.
Santa’s reindeer have been cared for at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane for the past 25 years. ZooAmerica takes care of them with food and lots of space.
“For 25 years, Hersheypark Christmas Candylane has been the only place in the Northeast to see all nine of Santa’s reindeer up-close during the holiday season,” said Quinn Bryner, Director of PR, Hersheypark. “We’re honored that Santa has entrusted our incredible team at ZooAmerica to care for the reindeer inside Hersheypark through Jan. 2 before they return to the North Pole.”