Meet Sulo Karjalainen – known to many in his native Finland as the “bearman”. The 73-year-old runs Kuusamo Large Carnivore Centre with his brother Jalo, which has been home to more than 20 orphaned brown bears. After working on a research project studying Finnish carnivores, Sulo was asked if he would mind taking in some cubs. And over the years a deep bond has grown up between Sulo and his furry companions. The Fin, who has lived on the same farm all his life, has become a celebrity in his homeland due to his incredible relationship with the predators – even starring in his own TV documentary. At present Sulo looks after six bears – and has no plans to retire any time soon.
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