Russian Couple Adopts Orphaned Bear As A Cub, Now See Him All Grown Up

We’ve seen countless stories about kind, caring individuals who rescue orphaned animals. Most often they tend to be domesticated animals, like a dog or a cat, but, occasionally, it’s a wild animal. It doesn’t get more wild than a bear. When hunters in Russia found a distressed, orphaned bear cub, one loving couple took it upon themselves to nurse the poor thing back to health. Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko gave the three-month-old cub a home, one he still lives at 23 years later.

Now fully grown, Stepan the bear is fully domesticated. While it’s hard to imagine a docile bear, the Panteleenko’s assure us that Stepan is a very loving and sociable pet. Forget kibble, Stepan consumes a feast of 25kg of fish, eggs, and vegetables every day. Like a giant dog, he’s quite the goof; he loves playing with his favorite ball and cuddling up with his humans. “He absolutely loves people and is a really sociable bear,” Svetlana says.

When hunters first found him in the woods, Stepan was in bad shape.

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With a lot of love, the Panteleenko’s nursed him back to health.

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23 years later, Stepan still lives with the Panteleenkos.

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“Despite what people might think, he is not aggressive at all,” Svetlana says.

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A gentle giant, Stepan towers over his family at seven feet tall.

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Stephan likes to wash down all those fish and veggies with some tea.

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Stepan has never once bitten his caretakers.

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While some might not let their pets on the couch, the Panteleenkos enjoy snuggling up with Stepan.

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Smarter than your average bear, Stepan helps out his family with the gardening.

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Like any European, Stepan loves to play football.

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Quite the busy bear, Stepan also acts in films and participates in photoshoots.

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As they say, your family is not complete without a pet.

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Check out the video below to learn more.

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