Russian pilots adopt wild bear | Daily News


Russian pilots adopt wild bear

Mansur often wanders around the airfield
Mansur often wanders around the airfield

An orphaned bear cub taken in by Russian pilots three years ago is getting so big that his minders have set up a crowdfunder to build him a new house and finance his large appetite.

A group of pilots from the Oreshkovo airfield, south of Moscow, adopted Mansur the bear in November 2016 when he was still a cub.

"Mansur" means "a bear" in Altai, a Turkic language spoken in Kaluga region, where Oreshkovo is located.

The pilots had taken Mansur in from another group of pilots at the Orlovka airfield 125 miles away, who found him in April that year but had to give him up because they didn't have the room, according to Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Now Mansur has grown so big that the Oreshkovo pilots have set up a crowdfunder to raise the monthly 30,000 rubles ($456) they need to keep him fit and healthy, they told Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The crowdfunder, which went live on Saturday, said Mansur's "upkeep requires significant funds."

"I cannot be sent to nature to live, therefore I need human conditions for life in an aviary," a statement written in Mansur's voice said on the crowdfunder.

The campaign has raised 282,210 rubles ($4,290) as of Wednesday afternoon. People can also bring presents to Mansur in person if they want, the crowdfunder said.

Mansur's minders also created a website and Instagram and YouTube accounts documenting the bear's daily activities.

Andrei Ivanov, Mansur's main guardian, told Komsomolskaya Pravda that he hopes that his Instagram account — which has more than 10,000 followers — will help the crowdfunding campaign.

According to a schedule posted on the website, Mansur gets up at 8 am every day, and is fed apples, carrots, and oranges in his pen just before 12 pm.

He then walks around, runs, scratch on trees, and plays the rest of the day, occasionally coming out to join pilots on the airfield.

He goes to bed at 11.30 pm, the schedule says.

Footage on Mansur's dedicated Instagram and YouTube accounts document him clambering on a rare Soviet Ilyushin Il-14 aircraft, eating, and wandering around his pen and a forest near the airfield's runway.

He's also great friends with a pet husky dog belonging to one of the pilots, the website says.


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