Camila Villafañe

By Camila Villafañe

LifeBuzz Staff

Meet Stepan, The 24-Year-Old Domesticated Bear Who Lives With A Russian Couple.

He Was Helpless

He Was Helpless

LPE360 / Youtube

The bear cub was left to fend for himself after some evil poachers shot his mother. A few elk hunters had stumbled into quite a heartbreaking sight — the poor bear cub and his baby siblings were stranded in the woods, all alone. They were starving and needed help. But they didn't know what to do with them, so they took them to a circus that just happened to be in town. Sadly, that would prove to be one big mistake.

It Broke Your Heart

It Broke Your Heart

LPE360 / Youtube

The baby bears weren't adapting to their new life at the circus for several reasons. For starters, their new owners weren't feeding them an appropriate diet. So soon enough, they were left malnourished, and fragile. The little one was doing the worst. He was dangerously skinny, and his teeth were rotten as a result of a poor diet. The cub was slowly getting worse day by day.

Getting Better

Getting Better

LPE360 / Youtube

Yury and Svetlana were pretty much heaven sent. They started feeding and nursing the bear back to health, and they even had a name for him! They named the cub Stepan. Now his life had done a complete 180, going to regular checkups at the vet, and getting bottle-fed every 3 hours. He was getting better and better, but the poor little cub wasn't out of the woods yet. Plus, the Panteleyenkos didn't realize they'd still have a lot of hurdles to jump through.

Blossoming Beast

Blossoming Beast

LPE360 / Youtube

This magnificent creature started getting bigger and bigger, and soon enough, he weighed around 700 pounds! Not only was he getting enormous, but he would eat 55 pounds of fish, veggies, eggs, and fruits every single day. He was so massive, that Yury and Svetlana had to build a compound outside, as he could barely fit inside their home. But they were still worried about something else. They knew it'd eventually come back to disrupt everything, and one day, their fear became a reality.

Hunters At The Door

Hunters At The Door

Live Journal

They heard a knock on the door, and when they opened it, they stumbled upon two men dressed in hunting gear. Yury was terrified of something happening to his beloved Stepan. It was hunting season, so he knew the poor bear could've met his untimely death by accident. He looked at the hunters and soon enough, he felt a knot in his stomach.

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