Valtteri Mulkahainen, a physical education teacher in Sotkamo, Finland, is also an avid photographer of the natural world. He has devoted the last six years of his life to photographing the native fauna of his nation. He has also managed to record several unforgettable events.
Valtteri intended to go to the Finnish taiga near the town of Martinselkonen on June 3 of that year. At that moment, he saw a mother grizzly leading her cubs into a nearby clearing.
According to Valtteri, “the cubs acted like tiny toddlers.” They were having fun and even began a few friendly fights. I imagined myself to be a youngster again, playing on the playground in front of my home. They seemed like children to me, that’s how similar they were. After a while, all three stood on their hind legs and began to nudge one another playfully. They seemed to be revolving in a circle, dancing.
Valtteri had a front-row seat to all the action from a shelter just 50 meters (164 feet) away. Throughout the night, he said, he took pictures of the bear and its pups.
Finland, with the exception of the Aland Islands, has a thriving bear population. Although you’re more likely to see one in the east and Lapland, you can also come across a friendly bear in the south or the west.
Bears aren’t only powerful; they’re also nimble. They are equipped with webbed forelegs that serve as both hunting tools and locomotion devices. Aside from being excellent athletes, they are also exceptional climbers and swimmers.
On the other hand, bears normally strive to keep their distance from humans. As soon as they pick up on our presence, they run and hide as fast as they can. As a result, you don’t see them very often.
They’re great at this game of hide and seek because of their acute senses and their stealthy movements. Also, they’re very cute.
There were between 2100 and 2130 bears before the 2019 shooting season, as estimated by the Finnish Natural Resources Institute.