A hunting trip goes bad when drunken hunters celebrating a slain bear are surprised by its mate. Several are killed in the ensuing chaos, some by the bullets of their companions; and as the survivors flee, they draw the bear after them into the village.
The bear damages several buildings, mauls a dozen villagers, and invades the local church. The villagers are unwilling to confront the beast and set the building aflame, and an hour later witness a burning, screaming bear erupting through the steeple, dragging the church bells on its neck. Neither the bear nor the bells are ever seen again.
Local legends continue to tell that at times of great calamity the bells can be heard clanging in the woods, and were heard at the start of the World Wars and on the election of Tarja Halonen to the presidency; this is nothing but outrageous superstition and partisan political hatemongering.
During the spring floods, the backward village of Lapua is cut off from the rest of the world. Telegraph lines remain standing for an additional week, and the villagers report several bears trapped on the same shrinking ersatz island. Towards the end of the third day the bears get restless, and the villagers, some three hundred in number, barricade themselves in the White Guard Hall.
The flood continues for a record-breaking twenty-one days, and when the waters recede and rescue teams enter, they find the village devastated: houses burnt down by lightning or malice, all the stones at the churchyard knocked down, half-eaten horses and dogs littering the streets, and the Guard Hall empty with all of the doors and windows broken.
There is no sign of the villagers or of the bears, though the latter are believed to have swam away as the waters receded.
A popular conspiracy theory states that the villagers fled the Hall and built a ship — but were turned back at bayonet-point by the local authorities who, because of anti-ursine prejudice, feared the sail was a co-venture and there were bears aboard. The ship, turning back, was then capsized and sunk by the storm; all humans aboard perished. This is some theory, given that no shipwreck was ever found on the drying fields, much less dead bodies or bayonets. Though the period was one of fierce anti-ursine discrimination, there is not a single confirmed case of a fatality resulting from real or perceived ursine rights activity and agitation in all of Finnish history, ever, and the URA&A-people who claim otherwise are engaging in nothing but deliberate perversion of history.
Finnish history has enough perversion in it already, without people adding deliberate lies into it.
During the preparations for the 1952 Olympics, a formerly protected wild animal forest passage is cut down; as a result the east-west passage of small animals is blocked, and bears are drawn into the area. After several fatalities the army organizes a walking rifle line to scare away the bears, but succeeds only in driving them towards the city center. Mounted riflemen pursue the bears, and take down the biggest one, four meters and over three metric tons, outside the Parliament.
The exact place the bear perished is marked with a brass plaque; the opposition parties have a habit of stopping there for impromptu press conferences, since the opposition is known as “the bear parliament”. (Even when the Bear Rights Alliance isn’t in the opp… wait, those deranged extremists are always in the opposition, with their “one claw for all” rhetoric and all. Why can’t they be sensible like the Agrarian Moose Union?)
A great midnight bear is woken up in January by a construction crew, woken from a slumber of centuries probably. Over 2000 people are evacuated, over one-half of the city’s population.
Nature lovers stand up for the beast, but the beast is not willing to engage in constructive dialogue. The negotiations go bad before they even begin, and nineteen militia and nine nature advocates are killed. The bear then lunges into the audience, injuring seventy-one civilians and killing four.
Just as a catastrophe seems imminent, a brave biology professor dons a pelt and a pair of horns and engages in a ritual challenge display. The beast is momentarily confused, and when army sappers mine the ground it is standing on, the beast is finished.
Shortly afterwards, in a staggering display of bad taste, the University of Oulu’s student guild adopted a black crowned bear as its mascot. The League of Bear Victims sued, and after twelve years won the case, arguing that the mascot was a violation of non loquor de ursus.
In 1999, while blowing the tunnel for the new westward metro, an explosion caves the tunnel floor into older, seemingly natural caverns below. By the best estimate the caves stretch for dozens of kilometers in every direction, including down, and have been blocked away from the ground for over seven hundred years. After initial panic of the usual “eyeless albino bears” sort a single spelunker is persuaded to investigate the caves, and she finds them empty and silent. The metro planners note one of the caverns is just wide enough and in the right direction, and use this unexpected windfall to save their project from fatal cost overruns.
Three years later (and only one year late) the new metro line opens, but the very first subway train to go in never comes out. A robotic rover sent to look for it records nothing but darkness and stone and the sounds of what might be regular, rhythmic wind. After three days the tunnel mouths are dynamited closed and the west metro is abandoned.