Everyone knows that wolves and coyotes rely on their packs for survival. This not only provides the animals with the backup they need in order to hunt down their next meal, but it establishes a hierarchy by which they can develop relationships with one another.
Not all animals thrive in a social pack environment. Some, such as bears, are notoriously solitary. The only time they come together is to mate.
That is why the recent discovery by a Finnish photographer is so stunning. He saw two animals exploring the wild forests of Finland together and could not believe his eyes.
Wolves are known to live in packs, while bears are typically solitary animals. So when wildlife photographer Lassi Rautiainen discovered this unlikely pair, he knew he was witnessing a beautiful and rare phenomenon: a lone, female gray wolf living alongside a male brown bear.
Lassi spent 10 days observing them. He witnessed the young bear and wolf meet up and spend time together. Lassi couldn’t believe that not only did they hang out together…
…they also shared their kills! For two apex predators who are so territorial about their food, was just extraordinary!
This behavior is extremely unusual in predators of different species, however, they have evolved to hunt for the benefit of their own species’ survival, not to befriend one another. Yet Lassi’s photographs made it undeniable: these animals were, indeed, friends.
Watching the bear approach the wolf with its latest kill dangling from its mouth would seem like an invitation to battle, not an invitation to share dinner. However, that couldn’t be further from what happened!
To make a totally unique pairing even stranger, the wolf wasn’t just accepted by one bear, other bears in the area seemed to welcome the young wolf into their company with open paws.
Lassi wasn’t sure what brought this wolf and this bear together, but he knew their bond was quite an exceptional one. “Perhaps they were both on their own from a young age and helped each other grow up?” he speculated.
Whatever the reason, what mattered is that this most unlikely of duos found each other.
What an unusual and beautiful bond these animals share! Thankfully, Lassi managed to capture it all on film for us to see.
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