A photographer in the wilderness of northern Finland has captured something amazing on camera: a young gray wolf and brown bear working cooperatively to hunt prey. Large predators rarely work together to do anything, and bears and wolves have been age-old enemies. Since both species share the same space, bears often find themselves in conflicts with wolves, especially over food. However, 56-year-old Lassi Rautiainen said he found at least two individuals on friendly terms.
“No one can know exactly why or how the young wolf and bear became friends,” Rautiainen told the Daily Mail. “I think that perhaps they were both alone and they were young and a bit unsure of how to survive alone.”
You can see pictures of the pair below:
What made the matter even more strange was that there were other bears and wolves in the area. Yet the wolf and bear still occasionally met up to hunt on their own, or just lay about. Rautiainen said there was one time when the pair was together for 10 consecutive days before parting from each other’s company.
“It seems to me that they feel safe being together, and so every evening met up for their dinner,” he speculated.
Rautiainen has been a wildlife photographer since 1978 and since then he has seen numerous wolf and bear interactions. Most of the time the two species will avoid one another but occasionally fights over territory or deer carcasses do occur. The rarest event, however, is cooperation. Rautiainen said he only saw a few cases in which bears and wolves tolerated each other’s presence, and fewer still that displayed what could be called “companionship.”
Rautiainen currently operates a wildlife safari company near Kajanni. According to the photographer, wolves were one of the last animals he started photographing due to their elusiveness. Bears, on the other hand, were the animals he started his career on.