Ilpo Kojola, a research professor at the Natural Resources Center, says that the bear is very unique.- It’s special. Yes, it amazed me very suddenly when it came to the area. This is what Veijo Toivoniemi from Haapajoki says, who was able to capture a special white bear. Toivoniemi took the pictures in Kuhmo Lentiira, a bear-watching area a few kilometers from the Russian border. A lot of bears are known to move in the area, and booths have been set up specifically for watching them. It’s special.
However, all bears are wild and it is impossible to domesticate them, Toivoniemi says. Yes, they scare people easily, and there must be a quiet mouse in the shooting booths, he says. Yes, I knew that such a bear had been seen in the area before, but no pictures of it have been taken, unfortunately. Luckily, I happened to have better conditions, and it came in good time. Toivoniemi says that the bear stayed in the area for only 10–15 minutes. It had visited the site once before but left quickly after the crows were embarrassed by it. Then a big male bear came into the area, which is scared, and after that, it was no longer visible. Toivoniemi noticed a bear a few kilometers from the Russian border. Photo: Veijo Toivoniemi Shooting a white bear was a special experience for Toivoniemi. Yes, it was enchanting. 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 moment, he says. Toivoniemi has been involved in nature photography for 17 years, and also holds his own column in a local newspaper. However, he is not the kind of expert who can tell with certainty why the bear described is white. “A very exceptionally colored individual” Ilpo Kojola, a research professor at the Natural Resources Center, confirms to Ilta-Sanomat that a bear sighting in Toivoniemi is very rare even at the international level. The bear is not albino, but very intensely pale. I don’t remember seeing one blond bear anywhere. Maybe there are some of these in the world. However, it is a very exceptionally colored individual. A research professor at the Natural Resources Center believes that light fur can be explained by genetic factors. Photo: Veijo Toivoniemi. Kojola also believes that the pigment of the bear has been affected by genetic factors. For example, in birds that eat a lot of junk food, color changes, such as white feathers, have been observed, but bears do not have a lot of junk food there. Kojola thinks that the bear belongs to a litter that went public in Kuhmo in 2018, and that Iltalehti, among others, reported on the light fur of two puppies.