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Reindeer goes missing... in Lakeland | News

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Reindeer goes missing... in Lakeland
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Lakeland, Florida -- Rudolph must have needed a break from guiding Santa's sleigh.

Police received a call Tuesday morning of a reindeer on the run in Lakeland. Officials say animal, whose name is Rudy, escaped from the Nativity scene at the Highland Park Church of the Nazarene located at 4777 Lakeland Highlands Road.

Pictures: Rudy and the church's live Nativity scene
AUDIO: Listen to the 9-1-1 call (mp3)

Church personnel chased after Rudy, and eventually found him hiding under the elf house.

Police say Rudy's owner took the animal home, believing he'd probably just escape from the enclosure again. 

Rudy is now safe and sound at home. His owner explains that while billed as a reindeer for the Nativity scene, Rudy is actually a muntjac, a small deer species native to Asia.  His small stature makes him look like a baby deer, but Rudy is actually three years old.

The Highland Park Church of the Nazarene has other live animals in their Bethlehem Village that is free to the public open from 6:30 to 9:30 pm on December 10, 11, and 12th.

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