Meet Sulo - the Bearman
In Finland, everybody loves living close to nature but Sulo Karjalainen, who lives surrounded by predators, takes it to extremes.
If you head about 30 kilometres south from Kuusamo, in the north of Finland, you may end up at an old farm on the shore of a lake. Recently, and over a short period of time, this spot has become quite a talking point and most Finns would recognise the name of its owner. Sulo Karjalainen has featured in numerous newspaper articles and he has even had his own TV documentary, as people have become fascinated by Sulo – because his relationship with Finland’s predators is something out of the ordinary.
– People know me because of the animals. That makes me happy. When you’ve lived in the forest since childhood, you’re naturally close to animals. I remember when I was a little boy I used to spend days in the sheep pen while my mother was milking the cows. I wasn’t even ten before I first saw a bear in the wild.
In Lapland, swapping the hustle and bustle of ski resorts and cities to the peace and quiet of the wilderness takes mere minutes.