Christmas market was too much for Rudolph

The streams of visitors proved too much for Rudolf the reindeer, the star attraction at the Nuremberg Christmas market in the south of Germany.

Rudolf bolted from his pen into a nearby forest a week before Christmas Eve and was only captured on Tuesday, after three days of freedom.

“Every time somebody approached him, he ran away,” said Mathias Herd, owner of the forest restaurant which operates the market in Ludwigshoehe near the city of Nuremberg. A hunter used an anaesthetic dart to stop the timid animal.

Rudolf and two more of the shy species, which is native to the Arctic Circle, had played reindeer games for the public until his disappearance last Saturday, Herd said.