Stepan, the Pet Bear of a Russian Couple

December 29, 2018
As much as we find the news of a pet bear who has lived with a couple in Russia for 23 years strange, it is not the only case of these plantigrades adapting to living with humans.

Animals surprise people more than we can even imagine, the idea that beings born in a wild environment are domesticated overnight is not one of them. The Panteleenkos have lived with their pet bear for 23 years.

Bears and people: not always a happy relationship

The truth is that the human relationship with bears has never been too friendly. If these weren’t hunted for some kind of trophy, exhibited in a zoo or forced to clown around and do tricks in some circus (yes, these still exist), and treated as maneaters in movies, people will understand that these animals only act aggressively when their territory is invaded and when they feel threatened.

However, this is not the case Panteleenkos’ pet bear Stepan. He exceeds 2 meters in height and 135 kilograms in weight. Despite this, this animal is like a playful and cuddly dog. He has lived with Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko for 23 years.

And the thing is that this brown bear has been with the couple since the age of three months. The Panteleenkos cared for him after finding him abandoned by his mother in a forest while he was in appalling conditions.

Continue reading to find out about the story of Stepan, a brown bear that has been the pet of a Russian couple for 23 years. The Panteleenkos rescued him when he was a three-month-old cub. Since then, he has become a member of the family.

Learn more about the story of Stepan, the pet bear

The Panteleenkos became so fond of the cub that, once he recovered, they could not detach themselves from him to return him back to the wild.

This article is not intended to judge this couple’s decision, but rather tell you about the life of Stepan living among humans.

Anyway, this story is about the happy life of a 23-year-old bear. However, do not try to imitate this Russian couple. Although there were always cases of humans who have decided to keep exotic animals as pets, we must not forget that the nature of these creatures must be respected.

How Stepan spends his days

Stepan is pure sweetness. He looks like a giant stuffed animal that loves to play and spend time with his human family. He is happy cuddling, sharing the couch with the Panteleenkos when they are watching TV. he enjoys sitting at the table with them to eat his food.

By the way, the animal eats about 25 kilograms of food a day, including fish, eggs, and vegetables. Although according to his owners, his favorite dishes are oatmeal and condensed milk.

According to the Panteleenko’s story, even though the imposing image of Stepan can intimidate other people, he is a very calm and docile animal that has never been aggressive or bitten anyone.

This animal exception is not an example of his species

The difference between wild brown bears and Stepan, is that they have no loving contact with humans, and this pet bear who lives with humans in Russia is frankly worlds apart.

If you watch this video, there seems to be no doubt that Stepan is another member of the Panteleenko family.

Asking what would have happened if they had returned him to his natural habitat no longer makes sense. However, it is best that humans do not fall into the temptation of wanting to tame animals. Needless to say, they were not born to live with humans. 

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