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Last Updated: Friday December 17 2010 13:31 GMT

Reindeer escapes in Sunderland!

A reindeer like this was on the loose in Sunderland
A reindeer like this one escaped and trotted through the city centre

A reindeer has been spotted in the loose in Sunderland after escaping from its enclosure at a local park.

It's thought that a dog scared the creature, causing it to leap over a fence and make a dash for freedom.

It trotted through the city centre, followed by police cars, while loads of people were out Christmas shopping.

The reindeer was finally caught and returned - unharmed - to the park, where extra fencing has now been put up to stop any more animal escapes.

Olive Fraser, who spotted the reindeer running through the street, said: "We were just standing in the forecourt of the garage and I just caught a glance.

"I knew it wasn't a dog because it was so big but when I went out there was no sign of it."

The council are now reminding dog owners to keep their pets on leads.