Beyond Bravo

Married Couple Adopt Bear, Enjoy Reading and Tea Time With Him

They live with the big, brown, furry gentle giant named Stepan.

He likes snuggling, picnics, wrestling, tea time, and playing with a ball in the backyard—and he’s a bear. A hulking 300 pound brown bear named Stepan. And he lives with a Russian couple who have raised him like a son. 

Owners Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko adopted him over 20 years ago, when he was a 3-month old cub wandering in the woods. He had lost his mother. He is now 23 years old and 7 feet tall when he stands up on his hind legs.

“He absolutely loves people and is a really sociable bear,” Svetlana told Caters News Agency. “Despite what people might think, he is not aggressive at all. We have never been bitten by Stepan.”

Well, that's a plus. 

The couple say Stepan eats alot, probably because he's a bear, scarfing down 55 pounds of fish, vegetables and eggs a day. He also enjoys sweetened condensed milk and sipping tea out of a porcelain mug.

“It’s a wonder he doesn’t eat us out of house and home,” Svetlana said. 

Or eat them altogether. Then eat their house. 

Stepan also reads books, or likes to hold them, anyway, and he plays ball and wrestles, although it's friendly and nothing like Leo's unfortunate match with that bear in The Revenant. Then we'd imagine Stepan would have to move to a more appropriate facility.

“Stepan likes nothing more than to cuddle up with us on the sofa at night while we’re watching television,” Svetlana said. “He’s got so many talents, and loves a picnic.”

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