Photographer Hides in the Woods as He Captures Three Baby Bears Play-Fighting and Climbing Trees

Photographer Hides in the Woods as He Captures Three Baby Bears Play-Fighting and Climbing Trees

A physical education teacher with a budding enthusiasm for photography has captured the moment three bear cubs faced each other, stood atop their hind legs, almost appearing to hold hands like children in a playground.

The images are just one set captured by Valtteri Mulkahainen, who has spent the last six years taking pictures of wildlife in his native Sotkamo, Finland. While exploring the woods near the town of Martinselkonen, he noticed a bear appear with several cubs.

Recalling the experience to Bored Panda, Mulkahainen said:

The cubs behaved like little children. They were playing and even started a few friendly fights. I felt like I was on a playground in front of my house, where small children frolic around. That’s how much they reminded me of little children. At one point, the three of them got up on their hind legs and started pushing each other. It was like they were dancing in a circle.

He managed to find the perfect shelter, around 50 meters (164 feet) away from the scene. He says he struggled to tear himself away from what he was witnessing and ended up staying "all evening and all night."

See more of Mulkahainen’s work at his Instagram or Facebook page.

All images Valtteri Mulkahainen and used with permission.

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Mark Wyatt's picture

Very cute. May be dangerous, but great shots.

chrisrdi's picture


-Archibald Witwicky

William Nicholson's picture

Way to cool, I live in the Colorado Mountains and to capture some thing like this is beyond words. The amount of time and discipline it takes is well worth it when you can capture a family of cubs getting giggy with it. Well done Valtteri.

davidlovephotog's picture

Stalking laws really need to be enforced.

Gregory Scott's picture

Meanwhile momma is sneaking up behind him for the family dinner. Mamma combines aggressive defense with grocery shoppin.

Stefan Gonzalevski's picture

Awesome photos ! But I wouldn't have considered 50m as a safe distance. (I'm not that brave, I admit). And I wouldn't start a fight with mama bear ;-)

Blake Aghili's picture

So cute ... I had never seen baby bears

Paul Scharff's picture

I love these but I think it's ludicrous to be out there unless you are in a very protected structure. The very first rule about not dying from a bear attack is to be very far away from a mother with cubs.

J Cortes's picture

Those cubs are cute , but it is incredibly stupid and risky to be that close to those cubs . Grizzly bear moms have been known to incredibly protective and dangerous when they feel their cubs are threatened .

Jeff Walsh's picture

I'm curious what lens this was shot with. Reading these comments you'd think it was a 35mm. 164ft sounds like a pretty good distance.

Joel Manes's picture

I'm guessing that a bear can cover that in less than 5 seconds, so maybe not so safe.

Jeff Walsh's picture

Sure, moving at full speed and not starting from 0fps. But also, the bear has to feel threatened at that distance in order to trigger it to attack. Im not saying its safe, just maybe not as dangerous as these comments make it to be. Also looking at this person's work, they seem be extremely familiar with photographing bears.

William Nicholson's picture

Hey Jeff, you hit that dead on, bears or other wild animals will not attack unless they feel threatened. Living in the Rocky Mountains all 54 years of my life I have never been attacked by bears or other wild animals for I know to keep distance and not spoke them. Those who try to get selfie with big bad bear are the ones who get hurt. The best advise I can give others is know your place, respect the animals and stay calm for bears can sense fear. In a few months bears will be waking up and hungry, so those who desire to get a photo of Smokey Bear, don't smell like bacon or get to close.....