• Reuters

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Santa Claus is outsourcing his reindeer this holiday season to help deliver pizza for a Domino’s outlet in snowy northern Japan.

Employees at a branch in Hokkaido, where weather agencies have predicted an unusually cold snap ahead with severe snowfalls, are training reindeer to deliver pizza.

“If it runs properly, it could go as fast as 80 kph (50 mph),” one trainer said.

Several delivery methods are being considered, such as strapping the pizza to the backs of the reindeer or hitching the animals to a driverless sleigh fitted with Global Positioning System, according to a company video.

Company officials say they are working with the Hokkaido Delivery Integrated Research Center to ensure the welfare of the animals, first brought to the island from Finland more than 25 years ago.

The outlet said it had seen an uptick in online orders, but it was not clear if it planned to honor Domino’s policy of giving customers the pizza free if it is not delivered in 30 minutes or less.

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