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Ten black bears are not the typical pets for a pensioner couple - and now they need help

By Kate Baklitskaya
13 March 2013

Ivan and Lubov Leshchenko keep the animals in the backyard of their village of Dubovy Kliuch - Oak key - in the Far East of Russia.

Most elderly couples settle for a dog or cat.... PIcture: Yuri Smityukhttp://smitsmitty.livejournal.com/

Close to their home was a refuge for needy animals, but it was shut in 2005. Still animals come - now the four female and six male Himalayan or Asian bears - and the couple try and care for them. 

But they say it's getting harder all the time to afford the cost on their pensions. 

Local radio journalists heard about their plight and tried to raise cash to help Ivan, 79, and his wife. 

'Some people bring the remains of bread from a local coffee shop, but this is certainly not enough', said Lubov. 

'Our problem is not solved. Now it's cold, there's a lot of snow, and we do not have time to clean it, so visitors do not come to see the bears, which means there is less food for them'. Ivan's worsening health means the bear care falls on Lubov.

black bears need help


black bears need help


black bears need help


black bears need help


black bears need help


black bears need help

Journalists from radio station Lerma in Vladivostok have taken up the couple's cause and are seeking to raise money to help the Leshchenko's feed the black bears. PIctures here and below: Yuri Smityuk 

'My husband is 79 years old, he was sick for a year and cannot speak now.

'I take care of the bears by myself', Lubov said. 

A local business is aiming to find a new home for the bears but so far this hasn't happened. Journalists from radio station Lemma in Vladivostok have taken up the couple's cause and are seeking to raise money to help the Leshchenko feed the black bears. 

black bears need help


black bears need help


black bears need help


black bears need help


black bears need help


black bears need help

Here are the bank details for those in Russia willing to help: Aleksandra Zaskaleto (Aleksandra is an editor-in-chief of Lemma radiostation), Sberbank of Russia, branch code 8635/00174, account number 40817810350002933111.

The Siberian Times will update the bank details for our readers from abroad shortly. 

Comments (2)

wow to the bears' photographer - hell of a job!
Mike , US
13/03/2013 21:51
1
0
brilliant pictures; how about account details for those of us abroad?
Mia , Birmingham UK
13/03/2013 15:33
2
0
1

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