Medo the Slovenian brown bear cub makes a cute pet – for now

'Medo' is an abandoned baby brown bruin rescued by a family in Slovenia. Now they want to keep him, much to the chagrin of local animal experts.

Srdjan Zivulovic/Reuters
Matevz Logar plays with brown bear (Ursus arctos) cub 'Medo' in Podvrh village, central Slovenia, on June 1. Authorities do not want the Logar family to keep Medo as a pet.

Imagine if a brown bear cub wandered into your yard. You’d probably call animal control, right? Not the Logar family of Slovenia. When the apparently orphaned bear showed up on their farm about a month ago, they decided to adopt him and give him a name: Medo Srecko (Lucky the Bear). A Youtube video even shows Matevz Logar helping the little cub nurse from one of his cows.

The adorable photos of Medo show a playful, fuzzy creature just begging to be picked up and cuddled. He has become a news sensation in Slovenia and has several hundred fans on Facebook. But as the bear grows, it will become dangerously large (from 660 to 1,700 pounds) and strong, capable of mawling a person or a pet dog without even trying.

The Logar family is trying to get permission to build an enclosure for the bear and keep it as a pet. Slovenian authorities have stepped in and want them to release it to a wildlife shelter.

Brown bears number about 900 in Croatia and Slovenia and are strictly protected. They are known to prey upon sheep; therefore a small number of bears are legally shot each year. The idea of keeping one as a pet is certainly unusual, and not recommended.

Gentle Ben and Grizzly Adams notwithstanding, wild animal experts advise against making wild animals into pets. If you happen to encounter a baby bear that clearly has no mother, they say, your first step should be to contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator that specializes in bears; failing that, you should contact the US Fish and Wildlife Service or your state department of natural resources.

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