The strangest pairings sometimes make the best of companions. This saying seems like a description of a television sitcom or a throwback to "The Odd Couple," but there is actually a lot of truth in it. Opposing views and skill sets can complement each other, and a pair of two opposites have a way of adding up to more than the sum of its parts. This is why teamwork is such an effective method of reaching any goal.
We see this all the time at work, in our personal relationships, and with our friends, but it also happens in nature. Some species have what is known as a symbiotic relationship with others. However, the ones featured in this story share a bond that is more akin to true friendship. Photographed by renowned wildlife photographer Lassi Rautiainen, this unlikely duo of a bear and a wolf share a bond that is rarely seen in the wild.
Lassi Rautiainen is considered to be Finland's premier photographer of wildlife and a pioneer in photo tourism. His first foray into the field came when he began photographing bears in 1978. Eventually, he moved on to different subjects, including wolverines and wolves, and he started to become more recognized amongst his peers.
As he slowly built up his portfolio, aspiring local photographers took note of his work and began to take more interest in photographing the animals of the area. That interest eventually spread even further and today, photographers from all over the world travel to Finland to capture these magnificent creatures with their cameras.
Lassi has always been fascinated by the local animals. He takes pride in the fact that people are now taking an interest in them instead of dismissing them as vicious wild creatures.
During one of his expeditions out into the wild, Lassi managed to photograph something that no one else has ever seen in the wilderness of Finland — an unlikely duo consisting of a bear and a young wolf.
When he first saw the two together, he assumed that they had randomly encountered each other in the wild. After observing how they interacted, however, he realized that there was something much more to this story.
They did everything together as a team. They shared resources and meals, and even hunted together. Lassi watched for days as the two animals traveled and surveyed the land as companions.
"No one can know exactly why or how the young wolf and bear became friends," said Lassi in an interview with the Daily Mail.
"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 they met up for their dinner."
"When I realized 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."
The two spent most of their waking hours together. Even on the days when they went separate ways, they would still meet up between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. to share a meal together and spend time in each other's company.
To learn more about this unlikely pair and Lassi Rautiainen, be sure to check out Lassi's website and follow him on Facebook.
H/T: Viral Nova