Thought I'd upload a shot from my recent trip to Finland.
Firstly, before I go in to some thoughts it is important to state that this was a very fortunate encounter. The wolves rarely get this close to the hide normally. When I showed this shot to the son of the Finnish tour company owner even he was surprised. The feeling of privilege at seeing these beautiful animals so close is something I hope I don't ever lose. These are the sorts of encounters one should never take for granted.
It's a wonderful place, and gives a glimpse of what parts of the UK must have been like in the past and without our intervention as a species might have been like now.
The debate over the predatory nature of these and the bears is an interesting one. The Finnish organiser of the tours sees part of his role to educate the wider population about the animals and in particular to educate the hunters.
There was one Finnish lady there on our first night and she will be a great ambassador for this aspect of the work as she was totally blown away with her encounter with both bears and wolves. Although only there to observe as part of a bear watching experience she had taken a camera and the enthusiasm with which she shared her images with us on the first morning was infectious and engaging. When she returns to work in Helsinki and shares this same enthusiasm with her colleagues hopefully there will be more converts who will campaign to protect these European wonders.