Misha and Masha are the adult bears that live near my ranger station here at the Kurile Lake. I am watching them play and hunt together every day. Usually, adult males do not socialize with anyone. They are animals-egoists, animals-individualists. Misha is an exception. He is very friendly with all his neighbors; he is always the one to starts all the friendly animal games. And he is especially friendly with one female, Masha. They spend a lot of time together, even at rest. I am almost certain that these are my good acquaintances from four years ago: a brother and a sister.
A couple of bear cubs appeared near this ranger station in the summer of 2008. Most likely they just got separated from their mother. Other adult bears were scaring them off, so the children found protection near the humans. They were always together, even in their sleep they were cuddling up to each other. Since then I have only visited these places couple of times, and did not know how were they doing. Masha must have brought up one litter, and now she is pregnant again. Misha has mastered fishing and have grown to a very respectful size (males are larger than females, and they grow until age of ten). Their behavior, however, remained the same. They still sleep and play together right next to our ranger station. I can often see them play from my window or the porch.
Below are the photos of Misha and Masha from 2008.