The name Veronika Dichka probably doesn’t ring a bell. This young Russian woman nevertheless deserves to be known. On the one hand for her international career as a sports dancer and the title of junior world champion that she won in 2014, on the other hand for her unusual pet! Because the 25-year-old ex-dancer lives with an impressive 600 kg brown bear named Archie, in Novosibirsk, Siberia. In France, the law would prohibit him such cohabitation because of the risks incurred with such an animal.
But in Russia, the law allows private ownership of a wide variety of animal species. On the TikTok and Instagram accounts of the young Siberian, followed by more than 800,000 people and rewarded with more than 4 million likes, we can observe absolutely unthinkable scenes. Like the bear hugging Veronika tenderly between its paws. “Archie sees me as a member of his family. We share our meals, he sleeps in my arms and even hides behind me when he’s scared. He’s a wild animal but I don’t fear anything with him.”
The cub could not return to its natural state after its captivity, it was going to be euthanized
“I have the impression of being in his eyes a kind of mother figure. He also spends most of his time with me today and everything is going well”, confides the young mistress. But Veronika denies fueling the fashion for selfies with wild animals on Instagram, a trend that sustains traffic that is dangerous for wildlife. If Veronika and her companion are inseparable today, it is because she saved him from a dire fate. In 2019, Archie was just a bear cub when the local zoo, which he owned, went bankrupt. The imminent closure of the establishment means that the beast, which cannot return to its natural state after its captivity, is euthanized. Animal lover, Veronika is moved by the situation and then expresses her desire to take Archie in.
After making sure that the animal would live in good conditions, the authorities accepted his request. Since then, beauty and the beast never leave each other, and do a whole lot of activities together. The photos of their escapades are surreal: here in the car, there in the boat, dancing, playing or fishing. “He loves water a lot. And loves it when we go to explore new places together. Spending such moments with him is just great”, attests the young woman. Archie seems to enjoy life alongside his favorite human just as much. Their relationship is as crazy as the Russian cartoon Masha and the Bear. Hopefully their bond will last for many years.
Veronika Dichka © TIKTOK @ SIB_BEARS