Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Bear Gets Behind the Wheel of Soviet-Era Truck

Leopard Land / Youtube

A bear in Russia’s Far East has been filmed taking an abandoned Soviet-era truck for a spin, proving that you don’t have to be human to love being behind the wheel.

Scientists at the Leopard Land conservation trust in the Primorye region first discovered the truck cabin before the national park was formed. They built a camera trap near the cabin to find out whether this unusual abandoned object would attract wild animals’ attention. 

The camera has previously captured animals near the hollow metal structure, including an Amur tiger — but none were as curious as the Himalayan bear who temporarily called the truck home.

The wild Himalayan bear hung out around in the GAZ-66 truck’s cabin for several hours, video posted Thursday shows. It can be seen intrepidly exploring the hollow structure’s interior, as well as eating, sleeping and hiding out from the rain.

“Everyone from the Far East dreams of a car — and bears, apparently, are no exception,” said Gleb Sedash, a member of Leopard Land's science department. 

Sedash also noted that structures like this truck can serve as a "marketing platform" for animals, where the urine and wool they leave behind can exchange information about their appearance, gender and age to other creatures.

“Whether you're searching for a mate or making a statement of proprietary rights to the territory — these labels can contain a variety of important messages,” he said.

Leopard Land researchers have installed more than 400 cameras across the park to monitor animals’ health and behavior.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.