“Yes, it caught my eye very suddenly when it came to the area,” Veijo Toivoniemi from Haapajoki says, who captured the special white bear. He snapped the photos in Kuhmo Lentiira, a bear-watching area a few kilometres from the Russian border.
“All bears are wild and by no means domesticated,” Toivoniemi says. “Yes, they frighten people easily, and there must be a quiet mouse in the shooting booths. I knew that such a bear had been seen in the area before, but no pictures have been received of it. I happened to have better conditions, and it came to good luck.”
The bear stayed in the area for around 10–15 minutes. Toivoniemi spotted a bear a few kilometers from the Russian border. Having the opportunity to see and shoot the white bear was a special experience for Toivoniemi.
“Yes, it was enchanting. Those rarely come up, probably the only time in my life. Of course, you never know, but I think this will be unique. An unforgettable experience,” he says. Toivoniemi has been actively pursuing nature photography for 17 years; he even holds his own column in a local newspaper. However, he says that he is not “the kind of expert who can tell with certainty why the bear described is white.”
“A very exceptionally coloured individual,” Toivoniemi described the bear as.
Ilpo Kojola, a research Professor at the Natural Resources Center, confirms that the bear sighting is very rare even at international level. “The bear is not albino but very intensely pale. I don’t remember seeing one blonde bear anywhere,” Kojola stated. “Maybe there are some of these in the world. However, it is a very exceptionally coloured individual.”