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April 10, 2011 / hhsiegrist

European Brown Bears

OK, since this is a new blog, there will be some information about some older photographic excursions. In 2009 one of my most inspiring journeys led me and my wife Janine to Finland to see and photograph brown bears.

One of the places to see bears in Finland is the Martinselkonen Wilds Centre (Martinsekosen Eräkeskus in Finnish) at Pirttivaara in the vicinity of Suomussalmi on the eastern border of Finland and very close to Russia: The family business offers excellent bear viewing facilities including hides assuring the necessary security measures against nosy bears. Although not cheap by any measure, the place and its services can be recommended.

Accidents with European Brown Bears are relatively rare but one must not forget that this species (Ursus arctos) is exactly the same as the American Grizzly Bear. It’s just that the latter are bigger than their European cousins. The farther you go east on the Eurasian continent, the bigger the bears become and the Kamchatka variety in eastern Russia stands up to its American relatives.

By spending several night in the hides (14-hour stints with entry at 1700 hours or 5 pm and exit at 0700 hours or 7 am) one can be pratically sure to get many occasions for bear pictures in the swamp, at the lake or in the forest.

Early morning male bear

A large male

Frightened bear cubs

Mother with cubs

More pictures at



Leave a Comment
  1. Susan / Apr 10 2011 17:34

    I’m enjoying all your excellent pictures of these beautiful animals.

    • hhsiegrist / Apr 10 2011 17:52

      Hi Susan,

      As this a is brand new blog I am particularly pleased to read your positive and kind comment which is, by the way, the first.

      Thank you very much and please come back soon. You can also subscribe to the blog so that you will not miss the new entries.


  2. Rolf / Apr 10 2011 19:23

    Hallo Hans,
    das finde ich klasse dass Du auch unter die Blogger gegangen bist 🙂
    Die kleinen Bären die den Baum hochklettern sind ja fast schon niedlich. Aber überhaupt, Bären in Freiheit zu fotografieren ist ja schon eine tolle Sache. Obwohl ich dazu nicht die Geduld hätte und die Nacht könnte ich schon gar nicht in so einem “hide” verbringen.
    Alle Achtung, Hut ab.
    Viele Grüße

    • hhsiegrist / Apr 10 2011 22:01

      Hallo Rolf

      Vielen Dank für Deinen freundlichen Kommentar. Viele Leute wissen eben nicht, unter welchen Umständen solche Aufnahmen zu Stande kommen. Sie aufzuklären ist einer der Zwecke meines Blogs.

      Herzliche Grüsse

  3. Linda G. / Apr 11 2011 17:17

    Oh, I like the baby cubs up in the tree!


  1. Hans H. Siegrist’s Nature Photography « heavensgraphix

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