Kuusamon Suurpetokeskus

Central Finland

There’s a great backstory to this bear sanctuary 35km south of Kuusamo on the Kajaani road. Rescued as orphans, the bears were nursed by their ‘father’ Sulo Karjalainen, who then refused to have them put down (they can’t return to the wild) when government funding dried up. He casually takes them fishing and walking in the forest, but you’ll meet them in their enclosures here. It’s thrilling to see these impressive, intelligent animals up close and appreciate their different personalities.

There are also lynx and foxes.