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Russian Bears Are Hooked on Jet Fuel

Kronotsky Nature Reserve's bear population huff fuel from old barrels until they pass out.


Hitting bottom isn't cute. Photo via

By Bryan Le


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Russian brown bears living on the Kronotsky Nature Reserve have taken to huffing jet fuel from old barrels until they get woozy and dig shallow holes, where they pass out. The 1,200-pound creatures are now "addicted" to the potent blend of kerosene and gasoline, which is used to power the reserve's helicopters and generators. Igor Shpilenok, the 52-year-old photographer who captured the grisly addiction in a series of photos (below), says the bears will even stalk the helicopters and attempt to suck up excess fuel that leaks onto the soil. This isn't the first instance of ursine substance abuse reported in Eastern Europe, either; bar patrons in the Ukraine have been known to get bears drunk on vodka for laughs.

Bear rolling barrels.

Anticipation is unbearable.

Jetting off to dreamland.

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