Ähtäri Zoo

Wild animals are a part of traditions in story telling, eating and agriculture in both the United States and Finland. They influence many aspects of culture because they are the names we connect to our home landscape.Helena took our Finnish Language and Culture class to the Ähtäri Zoo for a lesson. This was an important visit for understanding the people and domestic animals that live with the wild animals that also call Finland home.

Many interesting animals were up and about at the zoo, including a snow leopard, bison, beaver and some wrestling wolverines. I have included some important animals names that we learned below.  Each animal has an important role in Finland, for example the bears and wolves are at the top of the food chain.

Important in the past, present and future of Finland culture are the forest reindeer and domesticated reindeer which are a source of food but must also be monitored to ensure healthy, natural populations. Moose are a concern for forest regeneration since they like to eat young spruce trees and also cause caution when driving on Finland’s roadways.

The wild boar and Arctic fox are distinctively different in their natural and domesticated roles. The pig farms in Finland provides food and jobs for the country and I will discus the fur farms in a future post. In the wild these animals dig and burrow in the earth altering and feeding off the land.

Finland is a land that has open space, forests that are wild. More than just tractors and cows crawl though these fields. Take a look at these animals who are a part of Finnish culture.

Finnish Animals at the Ähtäri Zoo


Metsäpeura-Forest Reindeer


Poro-Reindeer (domestic)

Villisika-Wild Boar




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