Observing wolves at Wildlife Safaris Finland Oy in Kuhmo
The first wolves came from Russia to Lassi’s feeding places at the beginning of the 2000s. Ever since then wolf sightings from the hides of Wildlife Safaris Finland Oy have been increasing. For the past few years we have been able to observe wolves on 4-5 nights weekly: on the best occasions there have been 5-8 wolves and many bears at the same time. Our record so far is a wolf pack comprising 12 individuals! In summer there have been periods of 3-6 weeks of wolf sightings every night.
All of “Lassi’s” wolves were born near the studio area. The first light alpha male disappeared in August 2006 during the bear hunting season. Then, in February 2008, the alpha female was severely injured in a traffic accident. She was put out of her misery under a special permit.
Due to the illegal hunting and the traffic accident, our actual alpha couple are siblings. They have had many cubs. Although their cubs have all become used to our feeding place, they have remained very wary. Especially in winter, wolves are still difficult to observe.
Wolf hunting in Finland
Poaching has markedly decreased in Kuhmo, thanks to our photographic activity. Local people have understood the importance of live wolves. In addition, photographers and nature tourists coming to us keep a watchful eye on the wolves.
Legally, in Finland only a few wolves can be shot, and for this a special permit is required by law. Due to reindeer husbandry, wolves are mostly hunted in Lapland, where the State pays compensation for every reindeer killed by a wild predator.
In Finland there are now 160-200 wolves. There should be over 300 wolves but according to a local saying “wolves fly off to somewhere”. The illegal killing of wolves has decreased in Kuhmo through wildlife tourism. But it is a fact that young wolves will move long distances in search of a new territory. One radio-collared wolf from Kuhmo was found near the Norwegian border a few years ago. It had travelled over 600 km!.