Putin vs. Bears, Whales

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Frequently bare-chested Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin fears no member of the animal kingdom. Putin has taken on Siberian tigers, leopards, polar bears, and even chickens. And he shows no sign of slowing down. Putin has gone after two of the world's largest mammals on notice in the same number of days: bears and whales.

Putin--or, as Foreign Policy's Joshua Keating calls him, "the Steve Irwin of world leaders"--began by warning that "bears should be afraid of people." The prime minister declared his bear policy during a media interview in which a very intimidated-looking brown bear sulked in the background. At one point, the two seemed to actually make eye contact. Here's the video:

Not enough Putin high adventure for you? The very next day, the Associated Press's David Nowak reported, "Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin fired darts from a crossbow at a gray whale off Russia's Far Eastern coast on Wednesday in the latest in a series of man-versus-nature stunts designed to cultivate the image of a macho leader." How many heads of state can say that? Here's video of event, which may or may not have been produced by Michael Bay:

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.