Valtteri Mulkahainen is a physical education teacher from Sotkamo, Finland, who devotes a lot of the spare time that he has on photography. Valtteri has been capturing the wonderful and amazing wildlife of his country for the past 6 years, and has also been able to capture numerous magical moments. The story about to unfold is one such magical moment.
The date was June 03rd, 2013. The teacher and photographer had planned an expedition to explore the Finnish taiga around the town of Martinselkonen. While exploring, something brown caught his eye: a bear entering a clearing with a few small cubs. At an interview with Bored Panda, Valttery says, “The cubs behaved like little children. They were playing, and even started a few friendly fights. I felt like I was on a playground in front of my house, where small children frolic around. That’s how much they reminded me of little children. At one point, the three of them got up on their hind legs and started pushing each other. It was like they were dancing in a circle.”
He also went onto add by saying “I photographed the cubs with the bear all evening and all night.” He was able to get some great shots of the family as the teacher was in a shelter only 50m (164 ft.) away from all the loveable action, and he had the perfect view.
These majestic creatures can be found pretty much anywhere in Finland, except in the Åland Islands, as most bears live in Lapland and towards the eastern part of the country. However, people also see these magnificent animals in the southern and western parts of the country as well.
These cubs have proven to us that bears are agile and strong, that they are the total package. Nature has created these magnificent beasts so that they are able to use their forelegs effectively and efficiently for hunting purposes as well as getting around. Not only that, they are also excellent climbers and swimmers.
Nevertheless, it is amazing and fascinating that this photographer was able to get such clear and great shots of the family, as these beasts will more or less try and avoid human contact as much as possible. It is rare that humans get to see these animals in the wild, as they tend to retreat immediately when sensing a human presence. What makes them perfect for hiding and seek are their keen senses and the ability to move stealthily. As per the consensus done by the Finnish Natural Resources Institute, before the 2019 hunting season, there have been between 2020 and 2130 bears.
Image credits: Valtteri Mulkahainen