Wild forest reindeer

(Rangifer tarandus fennicus)

This animal is extremely rare and lives only in Finland, where it was hunted almost to extinction, and Russia. Fortunately, the species was protected in 1913, after which it slowly reconquered Finnish territory. Today, the largest population (under 1000 individuals) inhabits Kuhmo and the neighbouring municipalities. In 1979 and 1980, Lassi Rautiainen, as a nature photographer assisted in a project involving the transportation of ten wild reindeer from Kuhmo to Central Finland, where the population has flourished better than the original one in Kuhmo. In May-September wild forest reindeer can be found near the Wild Finland Kuikka base camp in Kuhmo.

Roe deer

(Rangifer tarandus fennicus)

Although this beautiful animal exists almost all over Europe, at our high northern latitudes it is rather rare. However, Wildlife Lassi Rautiainen offers an opportunity to photograph roe deer at a location where there is a good chance of encountering some individuals from October to April. There our  guide will take you out to the hide in the early morning or early evening. Roe deer are especially attractive in the snow. If flying to Kajaani, it is best to plan your stop-over at the roe deer hide on the first, or the last, day of your stay.

Flying and Red squirrel


The Siberian flying squirrel is not easy to find as it is a silent creature of the night living in old aspen and spruce forests. Old trees offer it good nesting holes and aspen leaves are the squirrels’ main food. Lassi Rautiainen has located some nest holes for us. In contrast, red squirrels are easy to see in the daytime, even at the Kuikka base camp of Lassi Rautiainen’s Wildlife Safaris Finland Oy.



Only Canadian beavers are found in our region. Since the beavers are hunted, inhabited lodges (‘nests’) can only be found after the hunting season ends (30th April). The beaver is a truly nocturnal animal. Thus, beaver photography is confined to the evening or night. The best photographs are obtained by relying on some kind of camouflage. When rowing on the Kuikka lake one can see old beaver lodges.


(Alces alces)

Moose are most commonly seen at dusk and dawn when they are eating. The animal is hunted, making it shy. In June-July there is enough light to photograph moose all night long. There are two methods of photography here: driving along small roads at night or quietly waiting in a hide in a place where moose come at night to browse on the vegetation. The moose is a highly territorial animal and the same individual can be found repeatedly in the same wetland area. Every season some clients obtain photos of moose from the Wild Finland bear hides, despite moose being the preferred prey of both the bear and the wolf.


(Lynx lynx)

Since the lynx prefers fresh meat (mountain hare), it is by far the rarest of the four large predators that feed on carcases. In Kuhmo lynx tracks have appeared near carcasses every summer but the animal itself has never been seen. Lynxes are also difficult to encounter because they prefer hilly terrain. However, Wildlife Lassi Rautiainen organizes captured closeup lynx photography at zoo.


(Lutra lutra)

This graceful swimmer can be seen in the River Kajaani or other rivers in the area. Extremely cold periods from December to February when the rivers are frozen offer the best chance of seeing otters, as they are easier to find in the smaller openings in the ice at that time. Lassi has published a children’s book on otters in the River Kajaani.

Contact us for more information.