The Predator Centre
The half-tame bears in Finland welcome the guests to Kuusamo's Predator Center where everyone can see the bears in close proximity! The kings of the forest eat and talk with their trainers while visitors are able to peek into their daily lives. At the Predator Center, you can visit the kings of the forests and see how well human beings and bear can co-exist together. In addition to the bears, there is also a chance to see other Finnish predatory animals, such as lynx, foxes and new animals from the center, wolf dogs. Big eared lynxes thrive and spend their time on tree branches while glowing orange foxes peek behind the trees. Come and see the Finnish predators in the Kuusamo Predator Center!
Sulo Karjalainen and Juuso Bear
Sulo Karjalainen' offers home to six of his bears in the Predator Center. Sulo has bred and educated bears up from cubs to adulthood, and even slept next to them during the winter. when the bears are hibernating. The most famous of these bears is Juuso. Juuso is a true multi-talent and probably the only bear that has been offered a placement as an honorary member of the Artist Association in Kuusamo! The works of the famous Juuso bear have also been sold at the Artists' Association in Northeastern exhibitions and profits have been donated to charities.
How did the Predator Center get started?
Kuusamo's large-scale Predator Center was founded in the early 1990s when Sulo Karjalainen brought the orphaned bear cubs from the bushes to take care of them in his own home. Karjalainen received his first experience of bears and predators in 1992 when he served as an assistant to a predator researcher in Kuusamo. They found a deceased bear near a big pine tree. The bear puppies had climbed to the tree in panic. One by one the bears were dropped from the tree directly into the arms of Sulo. He slept in the same bed with the young cubs and fed them with a babybottle. He taught the bears how to behave.
When the actual large-scale center was established in 1996, the first bears were already ready to be deployed. Since then, the number of the predators has increased, and the offspring have also been awarded to the Predator Center. The center's original aim was to follow how predators behave when education and animal care is passed directly to humans. Due to the expansion of the center, lynxes, foxes and wolf dogs have also been deployed in the center.See more: Hiking in Kuusamo area