HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Russell Reading and Pennsylvania State Dr. Kevin Brightbill announced that Santa’s reindeer at Hersheypark have been cleared for their Dec. 24 take-off.
Redding and Brightbill joined Santa Claus and his nine reindeer at Hersheypark Christmas Candylane on Wednesday to announce that the reindeer received a clean bill of health and are cleared for their take-off on Christmas Eve.
“Not everyone knows what takes place behind the scenes to allow Santa and his nine reindeer to take flight on Christmas Eve,” said Agriculture Secretary Redding. “Thanks to Dr. Brightbill, his counterpart in the North Pole, the care of ZooAmerica veterinarians, and Santa’s due diligence, families can expect gifts under the tree Christmas morning.”
The nine reindeer; Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen, and Rudolph, received their clearances to fly to Pennsylvania from Dr. Robert F. Gerlach, Alaska’s state veterinarian.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and Permit to Ship allows the reindeer to fly from rooftop to rooftop in Pennsylvania for the purpose of delivery.
“I’m grateful to Dr. Gerlach for his thorough inspection of these reindeer,” said Dr. Brightbill, Pennsylvania’s state veterinarian. “According to their certificates, despite one’s glaringly red nose and their magical ability to fly, word is that they’re in extraordinary health!”
Animals who are transported across state lines must gain these certifications, that way they do not bring contagious diseases with them while they are traveling.
“Hersheypark is honored that Santa trusts his nine reindeer to the care of our ZooAmerica team throughout the holiday season,” said Amanda Polyak, Public Relations Manager at the Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company. “We’re the only place to see them all together in the Northeast through Jan. 1 so we wish them a magical flight before they come back to Hershey!”