Putin Continues Lovefest With Animal Kingdom

By Sarah Amos

Jun 7, 2010 10:57am

ABC's Alexander Marquardt reports from Moscow:    In April, he weighed a tranquilized polar bear. In May, he released a Persian leopard.  This past weekend, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin fed elks, adding another animal to the growing list of choreographed photo-ops with animals he has had in recent months. Russia’s resident tough guy is known as an animal lover. Last year he famously told reporters, “the better I know humans, the more I like dogs.” To mark World Environment Day on Saturday, the Russian premier visited the Elk Island nature reserve on the outskirts of Moscow. Elk calves eagerly sucked down milk from the baby bottles he held, while adults had to settle for carrots and bread. “Maybe you want an ice cream?” he asked a female. “She hasn’t tried it yet,” a zookeeper responded. Trailing Putin was a group of schoolchildren, one of whom took the country’s most powerful man to task for Russia’s lax environmental laws. "I think that the government should look more strictly at all violations of the law on ecology," the boy told Putin, according to Agence-France Presse, adding, “It should implement a higher fine if someone litters the street." "I agree completely” Putin responded. “Russia's nature is a gift from God, without any exaggeration a wonder which we enjoy every day and deserves our protection." Putin suggested the boy send his ideas to the government,"We will look at them at least at the level of the ministry of natural resources and maybe higher," Putin said.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus