Some of the brown bears of Russia’s Kronotsky Nature Reserve, a Unesco World Heritage site, have developed quite the huffing addiction. It seems that the bears have learned to sniff fumes from discarded kerosene and gasoline containers. Witnesses say the bears inhale from the spent barrels for several minutes before zonking out in a “nirvana” position.
The bears’ love of a light head has even sent some of the apex predators to approach helicopters where they seek out fuel that has leaked onto the ground.
“[In one case] Workers of the nature reserve didn’t take the barrels in time and a female bear named Suzemka – who is apparently fasciated by the smell of fuel – used the opportunity… She seems to be one of the addicts,” Bear photographer Igor Shpilenok told the Daily Mail.
It should be noted that the discarded barrels were used to fuel generators in the reserve. Not to entice the bears into drug use. (See photos here).