A Finnish army base was conducting drill training when an unexpected visitor showed up. A one-year-old bear disrupted the brigade training exercise that consisted of 3,000 troops. Local media reported that some ran for cover in their trucks.
This Kainuu brigade is one the largest and most capable units within the entire Finnish army; they train approximately 4,000 conscripts each year. The unit had to be on high alert over the weekend when a young bear entered into their military camp. Finland’s Iltalehti tabloid newspaper reported on the incident.
Somehow the bear entered the base on Saturday. It helped itself to the soldiers’ meals and even sifted through some of their personal belongings. The soldiers rapidly scattered and took cover in their trucks. They waited until the bear was out of sight and was believed to have left the scene.
Some bears are known to be scared of humans, but this one seemed unfazed. While the men were waiting in their trucks, commanders decided they should shoot this unafraid animal. A spokeswoman for the Kainuu brigade, Satu Hujanen, told the newspaper:
“Usually, bears avoid encounters with humans, but this one was not afraid of our soldiers at all.”
Under Finnish law you must contact the police to get permission to shoot an animal. According to the newspaper, someone made the phone call, and the bear was shot after the confirmation. Hujanen confirmed that no person was injured.
The Kainuu brigade is stationed near a town called Kajaani in central Finland. It is one of only three permanent brigades in the entire Finnish Army. Typically, it trains infantry personnel and other troops that will be set to combat the difficult weather conditions and arduous terrain.
As a result, the courses are different from normal Finnish Army training schedules. These soldiers are used to operating different equipment such as the light tracked all-terrain vehicles – special vehicles utilized to transport troops quickly, especially during the challenging winter season.