This is an example of nature vs. nurture and well, we’re not sure, but it looks like nurture seems to have won it this time.

Russian Yuriy Panteleenko found a three-month-old bear cub in the woods and brought him home to his wife Svetlana 23 years ago. Fast forward to today and they now have a 7ft tall 300lb pet that goes by the name of Stepan.


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What makes this story even more astonishing is the fact that the couple apparently eat at the dinner table with their 23-year-old bear, share house chores, watch TV and even read books together. And if you think Stepan was any ordinary pet, you’re definitely wrong. He gets through the day eating 25kg of fish, vegetables, eggs, porridge and his favorite condensed milk, thereby making mealtimes a pretty big deal.

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Having been adopted at such a young age and rightly domesticated, Stepan’s unusual bond with the couple is so strong that the giant softie enjoys cuddling and posing for photos with the couple. Apart from having a knack for watering plants, Stepan enjoys playing football and play fighting with the owners in the garden.

“Stepan is a sociable bear and absolutely loves people, despite what others might think. He’s completely non-aggressive and we’ve never been bitten by him,” Svetlana said.

We surely can’t doubt her if this video is anything to go by. So, move over Mr. Putin because Yuriy is Russia’s new tough guy.