Meeting a large carnivore
If you come across a large carnivore in the wild, keep calm. You should not shout or turn your back on the animal.
Large carnivores have always interested humans. Their large size and noticeable presence have both caused concern and sparked our interest. They are social and warm-blooded mammals, just like us, if only a bit hairier. They compete for the same food sources as us and they can be a potential threat to humans. For these reasons we both love and hate large carnivores and like to assign mythical qualities to them. We tell fables about them, use them in our metaphors and name things, objects and even sports teams after them.
Many Finns get their information on large carnivores from the media, which often presents the animals in a distorted and sensationalist manner. If someone unexpectedly comes across a bear in the woods, the tabloids will paint a picture of dramatic, narrow escape from the bear's claws even though in reality both the human and the bear quickly scurried away in opposite directions. An animal that happens to cross someone's yard is reported as a troublemaking bear or wolf, even though the animal has no way of knowing that it is causing trouble. If anything, these animals are very wise specimens of their species as they know to look for food where it is most readily available.
If you come across a large carnivore in the wild, the best thing to do is to keep calm. Retreating the same way you came is also often the wisest option. You shouldn't shout or turn your back on a large carnivore. Read more
Large carnivores elicit strong reactions from people. On the one hand they are feared and hated, and on the other there is a desire to protect them and they are viewed as symbols of the wilderness. In reality, most people know fairly little of our large carnivores. Read more
Large carnivores cause different types of damage to reindeer herding, domestic animals, beekeeping and agriculture. Dogs are also lost to carnivores, mostly wolves, during hunting and some are also taken from people's yards. Read more
In Finland, the numbers and territories of large carnivores are monitored by a network of carnivore contact persons. If you see a large carnivore, its tracks or droppings or a carcass left behind by a large carnivore, you can ask the carnivore contact person of the local game management association to verify your sighting. If a large carnivore causes damage or harm near your home, or you get into a road accident with a large carnivore, call the emergency exchange (tel: 112) to notify the police. Read more
Many different authorities, organisations and ordinary interested citizens participate in the conservation and management of large carnivore populations. Read more
A large carnivore sighting can consist of seeing the animal itself, or spotting the tracks, droppings, carcasses, claw marks or other signs left behind by the carnivore somewhere in the wilds. By reporting your sighting you are taking part in game animal research. Every year tens of thousands of sig...
There are four large carnivore species in Finland, all belonging to different families. The lynx is a feline, the wolf is a canine, the brown bear is from the family Ursus and the wolverine is from the family of weasels. They have been classified as large carnivores based on their size and behaviour...
Finns are confronting large predators in nature with increasing frequency. Suurpedot.fi, Finland's official large predator website, responded to the increased need for information and completely redesigned its pages. The pages now include instructions on what to do when confronting a large predator.
The hunting and fishing supervisors of the State Forest Enterprise (Metsähallitus) have revealed a suspected illegal wolverine killing in Taivalkoski. The police are investigating the case as a serious hunting offence.
Moose is the number one big game species among Nordic hunters, and the volume of moose meat consumed by humans is multifold compared to other game. Moose hunting also has remarkable socio-cultural meanings for local communities. Due to low population densities, moose was last year virtually protect...
A decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Forestry sets the annual quota for wolves to be killed outside the reindeer husbandry area at 40 for the hunting years 2016–2018. The previous decree for the year 2015–2016 was concerned only with hunting for population management purposes. Th...
Large carnivore populations are increasing in numbers and spreading to new areas in Europe, thanks to the conservation measures that have been taken. This has aroused considerable interest in large carnivores but also given rise to some concern and public debate.
Already half of the measures defined in the 2015 Wolf Management Plan have already been realized. These measures have focused on the wolves, information sharing and acquisition, and the locals’ opportunities regarding their participation in the improvement of their area’s wolf population management.
You would really like to go berry picking or mushroom hunting in the woods, but is it safe? In general, large carnivores try to stay away from humans, but in some exceptional cases you might find yourself face to face with a bear. Here is some advice from a wildlife expert on how you should act.