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Russian Couple Share Their Home With a 300-Pound Brown Bear (Photos)

It's not everyday you see a giant brown bear helping a Russian couple water their garden, but Yuri and Svetlana Panteleenko say this is a regular part of their everyday life.

The couple from Moscow share their home with Stepan, the bear. The enormous animal stands 7 feet tall and weighs almost 300 pounds, but they're still happy to share the couch with him.

Yes, Yuri and Svetlana are happy to treat their humongous pet just like any dog or cat - even better, in fact, because Stepan is allowed to sit at the table and eat breakfast with them.

The huge beast scarfs down more than 50 pounds of food a day. His diet is mainly fish and porridge, but when he's good the couple rewards him with a can of condensed milk.

While the couple admit that an animal this size is dangerous to keep in their home, the choice to "adopt" Stepan probably saved his life.

Learn why this couple adopted Stepan on the next page - and see more bizarre pictures!

While Yuri and Svetlana adopted Stepan from a Russian zoo when he was just 3 months old, he was actually born a wild bear.

Stepan's mother was killed by hunters, and the couple raised him like their own child. After 24 years in their home he's become a gentle giant, but these two are still careful.

"One of the most important conditions for the animals that live in captivity is food. Feeding him is a way of gaining trust," Yuri explains. Svetlana adds that "it’s a wonder he doesn’t eat us out of house and home," but Stepan does work to pay rent.

Because he's so friendly and domesticated, Stepan has been used in more than 30 films and lots of photo shoots, where he's bribed with mozzarella sticks to awaken his inner model.

Cleaning up after him can't be easy, but you have to admit Stepan is pretty cute!

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[H/T: The Mirror]