• Russian airbase personnel have brown bear as pet

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    KALUGA REGION, Russia - An airfield in Russia has a unique resident, and he's getting quite a social media following.

    The Oreshkovo Airfield in Russia's Kaluga Region is home to a three-year-old brown bear named Mansur.

    Most of the pilots and aviation engineers who work at the airfield help take care of Mansur, but only private pilot Andrei Ivanov can enter Mansur's cage and interact with him.

    Mansur showed up at the airfield as a small cub, about the size of a puppy. No adult bears were found in the immediate area and Mansur did not have the skills to live on his own in the wild.


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    The pilots built an area for Mansur and pooled their own money to raise him, seeking advice from regional biologists. They installed a 24-hour live feed camera and started a YouTube channel so Mansur fans could check in on him, any time, from anywhere in the world.

    Now that Mansur is grown, with a grown bear's appetite, the cost of his care is getting very high. The pilots are using social media to solicit followers and raise donations. So far, the pilots say generous donors have given about $46,000.

    Locally, Mansur has become a tourist attraction, with visitors coming to the airfield, bringing treats like honey and fruit.

    While Mansur's enclosure is larger than the average bear habitat at a zoo, the pilots want to expand it even more and there are plans to add a swimming pool and more space this summer.


     

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