The joy of living in an intact nature

Location: Rena, Åmot – Norway,
Story by: Tore Hauge

© Katharina Heide Nordbø / WWF Verdens naturfond


Tore Hauge lives with his wife and horses in the forest outside of the village of Rena. This is the part of Norway the government has decided is the area where the large carnivores are allowed to exist. Although many in the community are very much against the large carnivores, Tore enjoys having them around. He has experienced lynx, wolf, wolverine and bear close by. Once he even had a bear with two cubs on his property. Tore believes the large carnivores are a part of a healthy ecosystem, and he thinks it is sad that so many of them are shot in Norway.


Tore Hauge lives in a place where the large carnivores sometimes come to visit. But neither he nor his horses are afraid of the wolves, bears, lynxes, or wolverines. Rather Tore appreciates knowing that there is a functioning ecosystem surrounding him and believes that the large carnivores have every right to live there too.


Tore Hauge and his wife, live with their horses and a little dog in the forests outside of Rena, in the Eastern parts of Norway. In Norway, the government has decided that the large carnivores are allowed to live in approximately five per cent of the land, the rest of the country is prioritized for grazing livestock. Tore lives in the part that is called the “carnivore zone”, and many people in this part of the country find it difficult to live so closely with the large carnivores. This creates conflict between people in the community. Some people really do not want the carnivores to be there. And other people enjoy having the carnivores around.

Tore Hauge loves the fact that he is surrounded by such a bountiful nature.

“We are so lucky that we can live like this, and experience nature almost intact. We are very happy about that”,

Tore Hauge said.

We have been in contact with all the four large carnivores that we have here in Norway. We have seen lynx, wolverine, a brown bear with cubs and we have seen the wolf out on the river ice”,

he said.

Once he even got a visit from a brown bear with two cubs.

“It was a magical experience!”

Tore Hauge said.


Tourism is an activity that an bring society closer to large carnivores and increase the real knowledge on the species among citizens. When the participants observe these animals in the wild, a bond is created and the awareness of the needs and the lifestyle of the animals is rising. For some,  this experience is a dream come true. There are a lot of different activities that can be offered: photo tourism, talks, field trips with biological materials (skulls and skins), tracking courses or observation trips. Also a visit to a shepherd and other people who have historically shared the territory can be arranged to let the public know.

Bear-safe garbage containers

Preventing access to rubbish is a very important activity to avoid conflicts between bears and human. The containers should be specially designed so that bears were neither able to open nor destroy them. They should be placed along busy mountain trails or in car parks, where people leave a lot of waste, including organic waste. In addition several electric fences can be installed to protect large garbage containers located near mountain huts, in garbage sorting areas and to protect composters. These safeguards are only 100% effective if the waste is placed inside the containers. If the garbage is outside, the smell of the garbage will attract animals.


“When I walk around here with the carnivores close, I cannot help but thinking that it is a shame that so many of them are being shot here in Norway”,

Tore Hauge said.

“Far too many are being shot. It is a threat to the survival of the carnivore population. If the carnivores become too few, it will negatively affect other species as well. It is a dangerous development we are witnessing, and many of us are worried”

Tore Hauge said.