Just days before Rudolph flies off to draw Santa's sleigh at Christmas, dozens of his reindeer kin received a death sentence Thursday when a Norwegian court ordered they be slaughtered to preserve pasture land.
The country's Supreme Court said in a statement it had ruled "valid" a demand by the state for reindeer herder Jovsset Ante Sara, 25, to reduce his 200-strong herd to 75.
The herder argued that such a reduction would ruin him and that the ruling would breach human rights norms.
But the court upheld the state's claim that the slaughter was necessary to ensure sustainable management of the land.
Sara has vowed to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.