The 73-year-old runs Kuusamo Large Carnivore Centre with his brother Jalo in the north of the country, which has been home to more than 20 orphaned brown bears.

He was born in 1941 in Rovaniemi, but has spent most of his life on the same farm in Kuusamo - seeing his first wild bear before the age of ten.

'If you're born in the woods, there's something of the animal in you too,' Mr Karjalainen said.

'People know me because of the animals. That makes me happy. When you've lived in the forest since childhood, you're naturally close to animals.'

The bearman's family ran a dairy cattle farm - and in the absence of a babysitter, his mother was happy to leave her young son to play in the sheep pen, before picking him up in the afternoon.

The family gave up farming after Finland joined the EU in 1995, at which point Mr Karjalainen began working on a research project studying Finnish carnivores.

And it wasn't long before the animal-lover was asked if he would mind taking in a pair of orphaned cubs. Over the years a deep bond has grown up between Sulo and his furry companions.

'I look after them until they were well, and if they couldn't be released into the wild again, they stayed here with me,' Mr Karjalainen said.

Responses to " Bear Man Of Finland Has An Unbreakable Bond With Brown Bears (VIDEO)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely fabulous

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have been to the Center a couple of times over the years, and have met Mr. Karjalainen and his bears. A great place, and some great stories! Well worth a visit, if you're ever in the northeastern Finland :).

  3. Fili says:

    That is wonderful...

  4. Unknown says:

    Ůžasné ,nádherné,Milovat a chránit zvířata by měl každý už od dětství,Též je moc miluji.Více takových lidí

  5. Qazu says:

  6. Anonymous says:

    Few people will ever experience such peaceful intimacy with wild animals! I'd love hat kind of closeness!

  7. pilvikki says:

    hei sulo! ollaan melkein sukua kun itekin syntynyt rovaniemellä. :)
    toivottavasti voin tulla tervehtimään tänä kesänä. jos voin, tuon pikku tenavat.
    hauskaa kesää!

  8. Unknown says:

    God bless this gentle man.

  9. Hanski says:

    Reilu vuosikymmen sitten tuli tuolla käytyä. Hieno mesta ja upeet karhut. Sulo osas upeesti esitellä karhut meille turisteille. Täytyykin kysyä tyttäreltä lähtiskö se ens vuonna taas Kuusamoon moikkaamaan Suloa

  10. Anonymous says:

    What will happen to these magnificent animals when this man is no longer here or unable to care for them? They can't be released into the wild any longer. They wouldn't survive!

  11. Anonymous says:

    this is simply beautifull and blessing

  12. tomwat says:

    Wonderful. I wish we all could share such deep bonds with the rest of creation.

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