Sat. Sep 24th, 2022


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Giant 53st bear abandoned as a cub lands job as top Russian supermodel

2 min read

A huge brown bear abandoned as a cub has been given a second lease of life – finding fame as a supermodel in Russia in a real life version of beauty and the beast.

Stepan, who weighs a staggering 53 stone, has won the hearts of thousands with his fairytale-inspired shoots.

Snapped with a young girl donning a flowing dress, the huge beast can be seen paw-in-hand with the model as she leans in for a kiss.

And in another, he sits patiently as he is fed by the Russian model in a woodland.

Models have flocked from all over to be featured in Stepan’s shoots.

The 28-year-old bear was introduced to photographer Mila Zhdanova by his owners Svetlana and Yuri Pantileenko.

The beast has been surrounded by humans for his entire life after he was abandoned as a cub, The Sun reports.

Mila set out to create a series of fantasy-inspired scenes with Stepan posing alongside models in traditional Russian dress.

In some stunning pictures, Stepan is hugging and kissing his model colleagues, and in others they are draped out on the grass.

In some he is standing on his back legs, in others he is cradled by stunning women.

There is even one picture in the series, which took months to film, that features a child in the snow stood only yards from the ginormous bear.

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Mila said she wanted to prove that Russian's have a sense of humour.

She said “People have some stereotyped ideas about Russia. They think we never smile and have bears walking the street.

“We do have bears but I want to show in my pictures that we do smile.

“Shooting with Stepan is such a treat and I have to restrain my emotions. He is so friendly thanks to his trainers’ care and love.

"I’ve worked with models from Thailand, Australia, Germany, Britain, and Israel who have all flown to work with Stepan.

“Some had heard of the modelling bear and had been dreaming of this for five years.

"The shoots are pure delight. There’s never any issues. I’ve had more problems photographing kittens.

“I hope people see the beauty and strength in animals and nature through my photos.”

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