When nature photographer Lassi Rautiainen set out to spend some time in the northern Finland wilderness observing and photographing bears and their relationships with other animals, he was hopeful to gather some worthwhile data. But he probably never thought he would be witness to the heartwarming story told in this photograph:
Rautiainen watched this unlikely pair—a male bear and female wolf—share meals and one another’s company for hours at a time. For ten days straight, he photographed the two meeting up between the hours of 8pm and 4am for some quality friend time and an occasional deer dinner.
In a recent interview, Rautiainen explained more about his photo:
“It seems to me that they feel safe being together, and so every evening met up for their dinner. When I realized that no one had observed bears and wolves living near each other and becoming friends in Europe, I concentrated more and more on getting pictures to show what can happen in nature. Then I came across these two and knew that it made the perfect story. It’s very unusual to see a bear and a wolf getting on like this. It is nice to share rare events in the wild that you would never expect to see.”
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