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Is Rudolph the Reindeer one of your favorite Christmas characters? Have you always wanted to see a real reindeer? If you are interested in going on a reindeer hunt, you may have to travel far from your home. Don’t worry. Reindeers are real even if Santa Claus is not. Just don’t expect them to fly or have the occasional red nose. If you just told your child or a young kid that Santa Claus is not real, you can ease the pain of their upset by telling them that a reindeer is a real creature that can be found in the wild.
So, where do you go to see a real life Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, or the most famous reindeer of all? Hint - it’s not the North Pole. To find a reindeer here are the top 10 places in the world where they are a part of the natural wildlife:
Alaska/Canada: The Porcupine caribou with in Alaska, the Yukon, and the Northwest territories. Again, they are not called reindeer by the Canadians.
Canada: Home of the Peary caribou. Reindeer are referred to as caribou in Canada. If you like the X-Men character Wolverine, you probably know that he is from the Northwest Territories. Wolverine is not the only animal found in the Great White North. The northern islands of Nunavut is home to the Peary caribou.
Canada/Greenland: The Barren-ground caribou are native wildlife in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Western Greenland.
Greenland: this country is the home of the Arctic reindeer. Once upon a time, the Arctic reindeer roamed the Eastern section of Greenland. Unfortunately the species became extinct in 1900. However, you never know whether there may be a few surviving Arctic reindeer hiding among the ice castles of Greenland.
Eurasia: The Mountain Reindeer are found where the Caucasus Mountains meet the Orient.
Finland: the Finnish forest reindeer live in only two places in Finland or near the border of Russia.
New England: the forest caribou are also a type of reindeer. They can be found in New England, Idaho, and Washington State. Other places where they roam include Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, Quebec, and Alberta where there is a protected heard of this type of reindeer.
Norway: On the Svalbard islands of Norway, are the smallest reindeer in the world called the Svalbard reindeer. If you happen to ever find one, remember they are not pets, even if they may be the size of a family dog.
Queen Charlotte Islands: The island caribou went extinct in the 20th century but you never know if some survivors are still on the island.
The North Pole: okay, according to my research there are only nine places in the world where reindeers are known to exist. So, in order to make this a top ten list I am going to include this Arctic spot but only for the people who still believe in Santa Claus.
Remember, the reindeer is a wild animal. A reindeer is not like a horse. They are probably not interested in being used as a transportation device. Do not attempt to make friends with a wild reindeer because they are not the friendly cartoon characters that you have grown up with. Instead of finding a reindeer with a red nose you may find yourself with one if you make a real life Rudolph angry.