Smokey the Bear, Meet Your Russian Cousin and Eat Your Heart Out

Images edited by Kevin Rothrock.

Images edited by Kevin Rothrock.

Russia’s Kronotsky Nature Reserve, located on the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, has hired a popular online cartoonist to illustrate a series of public service announcements intended educate visitors about safety around bears. According to park official Nadezhda Belyakova, “a lot of time went into finding an artist in Moscow who is capable of immersing himself in the specifics of Kamchatka.”

The Kronotsky Nature Reserve ended up offering the job to an anonymous cartoonist named “Bird Born,” who owes much of his (or her) popularity to the social networks VKontakte and Instagram, where the artist has roughly 15,000 followers.

Bird Born created ten different cartoons for the Kronotsky Nature Reserve, capturing various precautions visitors should take against bears. In a somewhat unorthodox decision, given that the campaign is meant to draw people’s attention to the dangers of bears, Bird Born’s illustrations depict a smiling, unthreatening antagonist.

Never approach a bear, even if he seems friendly.

Tourists and vacationers, don’t leave trash behind! You’ll attract bears, and they’ll bring all their bear problems with them.

Never feed a bear. He’ll get aggressive very quickly and demand food in the future and even attack people for it.

Don’t go fishing where bears are hunting fish. A hungry bear might insist on making off with your catch.

Don’t build your tent near where you cook. In the early morning hours, a bear might be attracted by the smell of leftovers.

Protect the border of your camp. Men can place along the perimeter used underwear and socks.

Don’t carry anything that smells strongly of food or household chemicals. Curious bears are like drug addicts about these things.

Always advertise your presence by speaking loudly or singing. It’s best to travel in groups.

Don’t sneak up on bears. Frightened bears will attack.

In the world of bears, the size of one’s enemy is decisive. Increase the appearance of your size.

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