DILLON, Colo. (CBS4) – It took almost 24 hours to find a reindeer that had escaped during a mall visit in Dillon.
Witness Joyce Bearse saw the reindeer flee.
"I saw an awesome reindeer in a pen right here. I left and came back 20 minutes later but she left and jumped the fence," said Bearse.
Dillon Police Officer Bryan Wagner helped track down the reindeer that took off.
"We got the call at about five that a reindeer had escaped from Santa Claus," said Wagner.
He says the reindeer swam across Lake Dillon.
"When he came out ... that was actually good for us because it was easier to find him because it was a definite pattern in the snow," said Wagner.
Wagner and an animal control officer had the reindeer cornered and brought in another reindeer as backup.
"The other reindeer coming in did the trick, and the reindeer came right up to it, and we got the harness and were able to take him into custody from there," said Wagner.
Santa and the reindeer will be making more stops around Colorado.
The handler told officers he'll be keeping the reindeer on a tighter leash next time.
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