This Russian Brown Bear is a Professional Model and a Superstar

His name is Stepan, and he was abandoned by his mother when he was a 3-month-old cub. Luckily, yet a bit strangely, he was adopted by a human couple, a caring new parents, Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko. The way they treated little Stepan and raised him, draw great attention and appreciation from many, especially photographer Mila Zhdanova, who is responsible for all the photos below. We said that Stepan was adopted as a 3-month-old cub, but today he’s a 28-year-old famous model! Super friendly and human-loving brown bear, Stepan is the most wanted modeling star in the world. Some of these models have waited for more than 5 years to have their chance to work with Stepan. The fairy tale style of photography is all due to the immense talent of Mila Zhdanova. Her husband through, is behind the great ‘A la Russe’ costumes, as he made them by hand. Mila was struggling with depression and exhaustion after big photoshooting projects, but she had one last wish before she retires. She wished to do a photoshoot with Stepan. After meeting and working with the cuddly brown bear her depression was gone, and she had realized that that experience was only the next step in her career. When models come to sets with Stepan, there are simple rules. The bear is not forced to do anything, and models act naturally with Stepan, with no special guidelines. Together they don’t insist on anything Stepan doesn’t want to do. Therefore jokes about arguments with the bear are pure fun and the entire process is always as magical as it is in the photos.

More info: Instagram, VK (Mila Zhdanova).

Photo credits: zhdanova.mila

Stepan is a lovely, human-friendly bear from Russia.

Stepan is a Russian brown bear.


He was abandoned by his mother when he was a 3-year-old cub.

Luckily, he was adopted by a human couple who loved him all these years.

Today, he’s a 28-year-old bear with a modeling career!


This is the photographer’s (Mila Zhdanova) favorite photo.

Models come from all across the world to meet Stepan and work with him.


He’s such a lovely soul, like a Disney character.

Models act naturally with Stepan, and nothing is forced on him.

“Using my photos I try to tell different stories—about myself, about the world, about my country.” – Photographer, Mila Zhdanova.


“Many people think that people don’t smile in Russia, and this is a completely false statement! Even the giant bear smiles in my photos, even though, most people would assume it’s Photoshop, which of course, is not the case.”

via [boredpanda]