Russian Bears Are Hooked on Jet Fuel

By Bryan Le 04/03/13

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

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Hitting bottom isn't cute. Photo via

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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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter