FAIRBANKS, Alaska – A reporter for the NBC television station KTUU in Anchorage, found her way into the national spotlight while taping a scene with a young reindeer named Blitzen at the Santa Claus House in North Pole.
Just as the Santa hat-clad Meghan Stapleton knelt down with the reindeer’s leash in hand, a spooked Blitzen leaped at the reporter, knocking her down in a manner one witness described as a “tackle.” Stapleton was not injured and even managed to hold on to the leash to keep Blitzen from running away, though he did drag her a couple feet.
“I thought the last thing I wanted to do was let Blitzen get away, especially two days before Christmas,” Stapleton said.
Paul Brown, the Claus House sales manager who was handling Blitzen before giving Stapleton the leash, said the reporter quickly regained her composure. “She had a good time with it. She ended up popping right up and laughing about it,” Brown told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. The holiday-theme store and attraction is about 10 miles south of Fairbanks.