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Nature: Santa’s Wild Home

Journey to Lapland, where tales of Santa Claus mingle with hearty wildlife and stunning landscapes

  • Christina Zeiders

Green lights dance across a star-filled sky and snowflakes sparkle on the trees. It’s little wonder that Lapland is famous as a realm of elves, flying reindeer and the magical home of Santa Claus.

However, this northernmost region of mainland Europe is a real place with real animals, and Nature explores this wilderness in Santa’s Wild Home.

Watch it on WITF TV or the PBS Video app on Wednesday, November 30 at 8pm. The special can be streamed on-demand for free using the app now through December 14, 2022.

Life in Lapland is a life of extremes. In the midwinter, temperatures fall to 50 degrees below freezing and darkness lasts for weeks on end.

It’s also a land of beauty, with the Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis, on display. It was once believed that the lights were the trail of a mythical fox dashing through the snow. Finnish folklore holds that the hunter who catches the fox would be rich a famous.

Discover the reindeer, great gray owls, eagles, wolverines, musk oxen and brown bears who live in the tundra and forest. Get an intimate look into life in Lapland through the changing seasons, long after the Christmas lights are taken down – where only the toughest survive.

Watch Nature: Santa’s Wild Home on WITF TV or the PBS Video app on Wednesday, November 20 at 8pm. Stream it on-demand through the app for free until December 14.

You’ll witness the mass migration of hundreds of thousands of reindeer. The two-week journey is a spectacular sight – as the snow begins to thaw, the reindeer race to reach their feeding grounds before the snow is too soft to run on.

You’ll see a mother brown bear teach her cubs how to find food and survive threats, such as older male bears and wolverines. We’ll also see a great gray owl fly – sometimes more than 1,000 miles – in search of prey. One female owl featured in the documentary has three little owlets to feed, and they demand several large meals a day.

Watch Nature: Santa’s Wild Home on WITF TV on Wednesday, November 20 at 8pm, or stream it on-demand through the PBS Video app for free until December 14.

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