Predators on the Prowl Exhibition

A bear standing on a mire is looking at the camera. In the background the forest.

The Predators on the Prowl exhibition is divided into several sections where the large carnivores of Finland and the region of Kainuu in northeastern Finland are presented with photographs, sounds, lights and objects that can be felt with the hands. The golden eagle is often included in large carnivores and is therefore also presented in the exhibition. The wild forest reindeer is a speciality of the fauna of the Kuhmo area and one reason for the existence of large carnivores in this area. Consequently, the wild forest reindeer is a significant part of the exhibition.

1. The Predators on the Prowl section is an introduction to the exhibition. This section tells visitors about the characteristics of large carnivores and their position and significance to nature and people.

2. The Friendship Nature Reserve
The Friendship Nature Reserve was established in 1990 for the protection of nature in the border region. The border between Finland and Russia is freely crossed by large carnivores - without a passport and visa. There are no national borders in nature - or are there?

3. Finland's Large Carnivores
The exhibition presents the brown bear , the wolf , the lynx and the wolverine . In the species-specific sections the visitors can familiarise themselves with the basic anatomy of each animal, their size and appearance, sounds and tracks as well as their living habits, habitats, roaming in nature and reproduction.

  • basic information on the animals
  • large, magnificent photographs where the predators are life-size
  • illustrations of the skeletons, glass cases displaying the animals' crania and samples of faeces
  • sounds of the predators can be heard on the headphones
  • three-dimensional casts presenting the animals' tracks
  • video
  • separate sections for the golden eagle and the wild forest reindeer

4. A Hunter's Hide
A hunters' hide is connected with the hunting and observing of large carnivores. In earlier times a hunter's hide could have been a small stand built in a tree for keeping watch on and taking aim at game, but in the Predators on the Prowl exhibition there is a large, sturdy stand specially built for the exhibition. What was the hunting of large carnivores like in earlier days? And what kind of lens is used to watch the predators today? With the headphones, visitors can listen to the hunting stories told by Väinö, Reino and Pentti.

5. Nature Unlimited
The whisper of the wilderness of the Kainuu region and the seasonal variations are presented with a video shown on a large screen. The Nature Unlimited text describes how everything started and the phases up to the present day.

6. The Bear's Den
The bear hibernates, but visitors can curl up in a bear's den in the visitor centre to imagine what it would be like in a real den. How did the bear come to exist? Why does the bear have a short tail? Is the fox as cunning as it is said to be? Are tales and legends, after all, familiar to everyone?

7. The Mythical Forest
There is plenty of mythology and superstition connected with large carnivores, particularly the bear. In the mythical forest, stories relating to the origin of the bear and the respect for the bear are portrayed.

8. Wooden Sculptures Made with a Chain Saw
There are wooden figures of predators made by Hannu Kyllönen, the multiple Finnish Champion of chain saw sculpturing, in the hallway of the Petola Visitor Centre. The sculptures of predators are life-size.

9. Temporary Exhibitions
Temporary exhibitions are centrally placed in the visitor centre's multi-purpose space, where the Metsähallitus customer service point, shop and café are also located. The temporary exhibitions present topical themes dealing with large carnivores.