The deep wild forest of Finland homes a various number of animals, but it is the massive brown bears that rules them all. However, recently it was an extremely rare white-pale bear that caught everyone’s eyes.
The never-seen-before bear was spotted in Kuhmo Lentiira – a bear watching zone a few miles away from the Russian border. Veijo Toivoniemi, a Haapajärvi based photographer was the one who caught the incredible rare sight and he was completely blown away by the the bear’s exceptional color.
“He caught my eye very suddenly when it came to the area,” Toivoniemi said. After hearing rumours of a very special bear that roams the area, the wildlife photographer decided to convince himself. “I knew that such a bear had been seen in the area before, but no pictures of it have been received,” he said. “I happened to have better conditions, and it came to good luck.”
Toivoniemi who’s been a photographer for over 17 years, said he was completely blown away by the bear unusual color. He described him as “a very exceptionally coloured individual.”
“It was enchanting,” he said. “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.”
The bear’s very unusual color baffled not just the photographer, but bear experts as well. So far it is unclear what’s the reason behind its incredible coat. However, a thing might be sure – it is not due to albinism. But it is still believed that its light fur is the result of genetic factors.
“The bear is not albino but very intensely pale,” said Ilpo Kojola – research professor at the Natural Resources Center in Finland. “I don’t remember seeing one blonde bear anywhere. Maybe there are some of these in the world.”
According to Toivoniemi, the special bear stayed in the area for about 10-15 minutes. Enough for him to grab some snaps of the rare bear. “It had visited the site once before, but quickly left when the crows were alarmed,” the photographer recalls. “Then a big male bear came into the area, which it startled, and after that it was no longer visible.”