McLeod County, Minn. -- On a farm far away from the hubbub in rural McLeod County are animals of all shapes and sizes.
But one is gone now, after a coward fired a shot a couple of weeks ago.
"It's unfortunate, it's tragic and it's one of those senseless acts," McLeod County Sheriff Scott Reymann said Thursday night about the alleged shooting of a reindeer on a farm in that county.
Claus was a 5-year-old reindeer kept by long time reindeer farmer Bob Kendall.
Claus was shot to death in his pen Bob said on August 25th.
Claus was a valued animal worth thousands of dollars as well as the male breeder on Kendall's farm.
"I do not know why someone would have the cruelty to come to a farm and just take down such a beautiful creature," Kendall said.
So far investigators have no leads and really no idea why this would even happen.
Claus was the family's prized reindeer, the most gentle and kind of the pack.
"Claus was always the one who said I got to come up and see who it was," Kendall said.
That naive kindness likely led Claus into danger that night as he would have walked right up to the fence line for anyone coming by for a pet or a treat.
Why such hate would target this farm, this family is unknown.
Every year Bob takes his reindeer on a tour of the cities so kids can have a look see at who might pull Santa's sleigh.
Before that for over a decade Bob and his wife shared a holiday display at their home first in Minnetonka and then in Chanhassen known by people nationwide.
NBC News featured the story years back as the closest thing to the North Pole our eyes have ever seen.
It's that history of bringing joy that makes the reality of this situation so darn ugly.
"I don't know. I don't know anybody that hated the reindeer," Kendall said.
There is a three-thousand dollar reward being offered to anyone who can bring information that leads to an arrest in this case.
If you have that information you are asked to call the McLeod County Sheriff's Department at 320-864-3134.
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