GLENCOE, Minn. (WCCO) – A Minnesota business that’s brought Christmas cheer to families for years is in jeopardy.

Bob Kendall’s five-year-old reindeer bull, Claus, was shot and killed two weeks ago. Claus was the head of Kendall’s reindeer clan, and would spend the holiday season in huge outdoor Christmas displays alongside the family’s other animals.

“Claus was…very sincere, and he’s very loving and he always will come up to you because he always wants his apple,” Kendall said.

He recalls the fateful day he found Claus.

“He was sitting in a place he never sits,” he said.

Kendall says he walked down the hill to check on his reindeer when he noticed Claus was sitting by the water.

“We just saw the pool of blood sitting there,” he said.

McLeod County Sheriff Scott Reymann was called and instantly figured out Claus did not die of natural causes.

“The act itself in shooting the animal is deliberate, but the reason or the motive behind it we have no idea, no clue at this time,” Reymann said.

Kendall says his reindeer family has not been the same since Claus was shot and killed. Claus was the bull, so the farm’s ability to have babies is apparently over. Even farm dog Ramsey is not the same, roaming the land as if he’s looking for Claus.

“You can see they’re very comfortable even with us being in here,” he said.

Kendall says his animals are very friendly, and Claus was the friendliest, always expecting an apple from any human he saw. He believes his love of people may have cost him his life.

“I think someone came up right there and took the shot,” Kendall said.

The Kendalls are looking for the public’s help in finding Claus’ killer. There is a $3,000 reward.

If you have any information, contact the McLeod County Sheriff’s office.

Reg Chapman