Senior Border Guard Taisto Väänänen was with his dog Kiti on a regular patrol on the border between Finland and Russia at Ilomantsi last Friday. The morning's walk in the woods took a surprising turn when Väänänen noticed a wolf approaching along the path.
Väänänen ordered his partner to heel. The dog smelled and saw the wolf, but didn't flinch.
"The dog stayed where it was, as it had been told, ordered not move until the next command," Väänänen says.
However, the wolf continued to approach the pair. When it was about twenty meters away, Väänänen shouted, "Get out of here!"
"It came so close that it had to be urged to go in a different direction," he explained.
Most likely, the wolf didn't notice the two until then, at which point it turned and was on its way.
According to Väänänen, wolf sightings at the border zone have increased. Wolves are captured on surveillance devices almost every day, and occasionally, like on Friday, patrols also see them in the field.
Väänänen's canine partner, Kiti, is a 10-year-old German shepherd and an experienced border patrol dog who was not flustered by the situation.
Väänänen says that the dog also reacts to the tracks of wild animals while on patrol, even though it is trained to find human tracks in particular.
"When training a young dog, animal tracks present a challenge, but as an experienced patrol dog, Kiti, knows to pass them quickly and continue on her way," he pointed out.
The North Karelia Border Guard shared the video of the encounter with the wolf on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.