Most people consider their pets to be like members of their family but one Russian couple ended up welcoming an animal to their home that most would be terrified to spot even at a distance: a seven-foot tall bear.
For Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko this wild idea is actually a way of life that extends far beyond sharing the odd meal at the dinner table. They are so comfortable with their 23-year-old Stepan that the three even watch television together.
And the bear has even been known to help out around the house - or at least in the garden - by watering the plants.
While Stepan gets through more than a bowl of porridge a day his favourite dish is a can of condensed milk thanks to a sweet tooth.
He eats a substantial 25kg of fish, vegetables and eggs every day, making mealtimes at the Panteleenko's quite a big deal.
Fortunately, Stepan’s active lifestyle keeps him fit, and he burns off his impressive intake by playing football with his owners.
And the helpful bear makes sure he earns his keep by helping out around the garden – it turns out that he has a knack for watering plants.
Svetlana and Yuriy adopted the massive mammal when he was just three months old, meaning that he was taken in at a young enough age to ensure he grew up to become completely tame.
His unusual bond with his owners is so strong that the gentle giant enjoys cuddling on the sofa with them.
Svetlana said: “Stepan likes nothing more than to cuddle up with us on the sofa at night while we're watching television.
“When we adopted him, he was only three-months-old and had been found by hunters in the forest having lost his mother.
“He was in a very bad condition.”
Yuriy even play fights with the towering creature in the garden, but Stepan's owners believe they have no reason to fear their powerful pet.
Svetlana added: “He absolutely loves people and is a really sociable bear - despite what people might think, he is not aggressive at all. We have never been bitten by Stepan.
“He's got so many talents and loves a picnic.
“It's a wonder he doesn't eat us out of house and home.”