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Saimaa, or Saimen, is a lake in Southeastern in Finland. At 1,147 square km (443 square miles), it is the largest lake in Finland, and the fifth largest in Europe.


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The river Vuoksi flows from Saimaa to Lake Ladoga. The Saimaa Canal from Lappeenranta to Vyborg binds Saimaa to the Gulf of Finland. Other canals bind Saimaa to smaller lakes in Eastern Finland and form a network of waterways. These waterways are mainly used to transport wood, minerals, metals, pulp and other cargo, but also tourists use the waterways.


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  • One of the two fresh water seal species, the Ringed Seal lives in Saimaa. The Saimaa Ringed Seal (Phoca hispida saimensis, saimaannorppa in Finnish) is a subspecies of Ringed Seal (Phoca hispida) . They are among the most endangered seals in the world, having a total population of only about 270 individuals. The only existing population of these seals is found in Lake Saimaa, Finland (hence the name).




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