Imagine being stuck in a small plywood and fabric shelter, with numerous hungry brown bears all around you. That’s what this photographer did.
A 26-year old photographer, George Turner, volunteered to spend three nights stuck inside a flimsy plywood and fabric blind in the middle of brown bears central.
The blind or “hide” has been nicknamed the “suicide hide”, because of the multitude of bears that frequent the area. In fact, this area in Finland’s Kainuu Region has the highest concentration of brown bears in the world.
With practically no protection from the bears he was nevertheless able to capture some fantastic images.
The brown bear population in Finland continues to grow. It has increased by 15% over the last year. In the modestly sized country the population is estimated to be between 1,720 and 1,840 bears.
Indeed, Turner confirmed that as soon as his guide had left him in the blind the bears “swarmed around the hide” on all sides.
Turner stayed in the hide for three nights, and had a few close calls. One morning he awoke to find a bear with its jaws around his upper arm. Turner didn’t panic and the bear moved off. Another time he had adolescent bears sticking their heads through three holes in the blind.
But brown bears weren’t the only thing he had to worry about. Mosquitoes swarmed and bit him in places where no one should be bitten.
The “Suicide Hide” is located in the Martinselkonen Wildlife Centre area of the northern Kainuu Region. Turner indicated that his guide, the only person to ever live through a bear attack in this particular place, asked him, “Are you sure?” before he left. Although Turner began to second guess himself, he says he has no regrets.
The images he captured support his claim.
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