Art and craft

The relationship between humans and predators is depicted in numerous books and films. Daniel Alfredson's film Wolf (2008) is a drama about a territorial dispute between the wolf and the villagers of a small Sami village. The Finnish film Tommy and the Wildcat (1998) told the fictive tale of a friendship between a boy and a lynx. The American film Dances with Wolves (1990) with Kevin Costner is also very well known.

Ever since nature photographers have been able to photograph our large carnivores from hides beginning in the 1970s, there have been numerous picture books on Finnish predators. These photographs have provided informative illustrations not only to non-fiction books but for fiction as well.

Large carnivores have also inspired a wide variety of arts and crafts. One might knit socks with wolf motifs on them, another might carve bears out of a block of wood with a chainsaw, a third likes to paint water colour lynxes and a fourth might make wolverines out of felt. The list is endless and there is always something new to discover.

A large wooden sculpture of a bear leaning down towards two small wooden bears standing in front of it. A wooden sculpture of a bear. Photo: Petola Visitor Center.

A wide variety of predator-related handicrafts are available in the Kuhmo Visitor Centre Petola, a nature centre maintained by Metsähallitus that focuses on large carnivores. The product selection covers bears, wolves, lynxes and wolverines that appear in jewellery, prints, soft toys, shirts, apparel and many other forms.

In the video below, Arvo Hietala demonstrates how one can make a statue with a chainsaw. "It looks just like a bear!"

Nature photography

Seeing a large carnivore in the wild is very rare indeed, as the animals are very shy and with their keen senses they are able to steer clear of people. Photographing or filming large carnivores is not possible without hides and feeding spots.

Kuhmo Visitor Centre Petola

Kuhmo Visitor Centre Petola is home to Finland's large carnivores and offers a window on the Kainuu wilderness. Here you can obtain information on the brown bear, the wolf, the lynx and the wolverine. There is also plenty of information on wild forest reindeer. At Petola, you can buy unique souvenir...