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Surveillance camera captures bears marching off to winter slumber

A border guard surveillance camera in Kainuu recorded a female bear and four cubs heading for hibernation.

Viisi karhua marssii peräkkäin kohti kameraa ruskaisessa maastossa.
Finland's brown bear (Ursus arctos) is the largest predator in Europe. Image: Kainuun rajavartiosto

Kainuu Border Guard on Friday tweeted an image it had captured of a mother bear and four cubs walking along a lakeshore to their hibernation spot.

Jouko Kinnunen, captain of the Vartius border crossing point in Kuhmo on the Finnish-Russian border, tweeted the picture.

"Sometimes our technical surveillance captures some nice nature and animal shots," he said.

Kinnunen, who said it was rare to see this many bears at one time, explained the bruins feasted on both sides of the border.

"But we believe this group was on its way to hibernate."

Bears generally start settling down for their winter sleep between September and November.

Studies of collared bears indicate sows (female bears) usually begin hibernating around 12 October, according to Ilpo Kojola, a research professor at Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

Several cameras monitor the area surrounding the Vartius border crossing point. In addition to bears, the station has captured footage of other forest dwellers, including wolves, wolverines, foxes, lynxes, elk, reindeer and deer.

"Nature doesn't know borders and wild animals come and go as they please," Kinnunen said.

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