An unlikely friendship: ‘It’s unusual to see a bear and a wolf getting on’

It's something we'd more readily associate with Hollywood movies: two predators of the forest put their differences aside to strike up an unlikely – and lasting – friendship.

But it seems that, just occasionally, real-life can also imitate the big-screen.

Lassi Rautiainen is a 56-year-old Finnish photographer who regularly works in the wilds of the northern regions of his native country.

And it was there that he spotted a rather unusual sight: a male black bear and a female grey wolf who spent several hours together daily – even on occassion sharing food.

"It’s very unusual to see a bear and a wolf getting on like this," Lassi confirmed afterwards.

He spotted the animals together every night for ten nights, observing that they would usually socialise together during the hours 8pm and 4am. 

"No-one can know exactly why or how the young wolf and bear became friends," Lassi furthermore reported while in conversation with Mail Online.

"I think that perhaps they were both alone and they were young and a bit unsure of how to survive alone. It seems to me that they feel safe being together, and so every evening met up for their dinner."

Mr Rautiainen added: "It is nice to share rare events in the wild that you would never expect to see."

He also explained: "When I realised that no one had observed bears and wolves living near each other and becoming friends in Europe, I concentrated more and more on getting pictures to show what can happen in nature."

A former teacher, Lassi has worked as a photographer since 1978 and has had a number of books published featuring his work.

He says that after beginning with bears, he graduated to snapping wolverines and eventually wolves.

Lassi has also liaised closely with the Finnish government, advising it on the use of bait for photography, and on a ban on bear hunting.