Normally when we think about getting a pet in America, it’s along the lines of a dog or cat. If you want to get exotic maybe you go with a parrot or a bearded dragon. What you certainly don’t do is think to yourself, “Hey we should go to the Rocky Mountains and find an orphaned bear!”
Well guess what, they do things a bit different in Russia and elections are the only thing they are changing up it seems.
Meet Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko and their 25 year old bear, Stepan.
Stepan is seven feet tall and weighs in around 300 pounds, which makes him comparable to Shaquille O’Neil. Even though he is absolutely massive, the couple have been able to tame him to be just like your dog.
He has been trained to play catch and watch TV and it’s scary how normal this couple acts about these things.
Apparently even Stepan even helps around the house such as watering plants around the house. He also crushes bowls of porridge like he’s one of the bears in Goldilocks. His favorite thing to eat though, is a can of condense milk. Remind me to never go to Russia, where bears eat cans of milk.
The couple must have a bunch of money though, because they have to feed him more than cans of milk. Some days he eats as much as 55 pounds of fish, vegetables and eggs.
“Stepan likes nothing more than to cuddle up with us on the sofa at night while we’re watching television.
When we adopted him, he was only three-months-old and had been found by hunters in the forest having lost his mother. He was in a very bad condition.
He absolutely loves people and is a really sociable bear – despite what people might think, he is not aggressive at all. We have never been bitten by Stepan.
He’s got so many talents and loves a picnic. It’s a wonder he doesn’t eat us out of house and home.”
Just before PETA starts to call, it was an orphaned bear. In Russia, it’s illegal to take a bear specifically from the wild.
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Stefan Michel who works at the Nature and Biodiversity Union in Germany says that:
“Generally, the more contact a young bear has with people the larger the risk that rehabilitation is unsuccessful because the bear becomes too attached to people and thus poses a threat.”
Perhaps he never heard of Stepan and his success story with the Panteleenko family.
I guess next time my girlfriend asks to adopt a cat, it could be much worse. She could want a bear…
Take a look at the couple just hanging out with Stepan aka just a bear that’s part of the family.