Photographer Discovers Three “Dancing” Bear Cubs Having Fun in Finnish Forest

Bear Cubs in the Finnish Forest

Dancing bears seem like something out of a fairy tale, but teacher and photography enthusiast Valtteri Mulkahainen found the magical scene happening in real life. Upon exploring the Finnish forest near the town of Martinselkonen, he saw a bear and her three cubs walking to a clearing. “I hid and watched to see what they would do,” he tells My Modern Met.

While the mama bear stayed to herself, the little ones were much more active. “The cubs played among themselves like little children,” he shares. “They stood in a circle and began to push each other, stamping their feet, it was like dancing in a circle. They stood there for about half a minute, pushing and shoving.” As you might expect, this turned into some playful rough-housing. “Then they started fighting and all were in one pile on the ground.” Mulkahainen was fortunate to capture a lot of it with his camera.

While the dancing cubs represent some of Mulkahainen’s most popular pieces, he has amassed an impressive portfolio throughout the years. “I love photographing Finnish nature and wild animals,” he shares. “Finnish nature, especially in Lapland in winter, is very beautiful.”

Scroll down to see more from the adorable bears, then check out more of Mulkahainen’s photography on Instagram.

Teacher and photography enthusiast Valtteri Mulkahainen happened upon three cubs in the Finnish forest.

Bear Cubs in the Finnish Forest

He hid so he wouldn't disturb them and snapped magical dancing bear photos.

Dancing Bear Photos by Valtteri MulkahanienDancing Bear Photos by Valtteri MulkahanienDancing Bear Photos by Valtteri MulkahanienBear Cubs in the Finnish ForestDancing Bear Photos by Valtteri Mulkahanien

“They stood in a circle and began to push each other, stamping their feet, it was like dancing in a circle,” he tells My Modern Met. “They stood there for about half a minute, pushing and shoving.”

Dancing Bear Photos by Valtteri MulkahanienBear Cubs in the Finnish ForestValtteri Mulkahainen: Website | Instagram | Facebook

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Valtteri Mulkahainen.

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Interview: Photographer Captures Real-Life “Fairy Forests” in Finland

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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