This is the young woman who is giving a new meaning to the expression dancing bear with her frequent Tiktok videos showing her dancing with her pet Himalayan bear.
Veronika Dichka, 24, was given Toptyzhka to take care of by pals who run a safari park, and she is now his full-time carer.
She said: “They brought him to me because they weren’t able to look after him and didn’t need him. So, I became his guardian, and there are a few others who work with me who are professionals to make sure he’s properly cared for.”
Veronika, who is from Novosibirsk in southern Russia, said that most of the day is not spent making videos, and in fact they take a lot of time in ensuring that the bear keeps in touch with his natural side, with walks in nature and the opportunity to climb trees and live a natural life.
But on other occasions, she takes photos and videos of it doing dances or other human-like activities such as fishing from a boat and even taking a drive with her in the car.
She said she wanted to make the videos so that other people could share in the fun that she had with Toptyzhka.
She told Newsflash: “I think it’s important for people to realise that any animal is capable of friendship and trust with human beings, like this bear, if you take care of it and treat it properly and with respect.”
Despite the fact that the huge bear dwarfs the young woman, she said that she felt safe with him and took her role as his ‘guardian’ very seriously.
She said: “I feel safe because there is a connection between us. He’s attached to me and that allows me to train him. I take care of him every day, including feeding, drinking, walking and even bathing him.”
She added that it was a logical next step to introduce him to her other passions, which included the fact that she was a professional fisherwoman and also taught ballroom dancing, which has now been extended to her routine with her bear friend.
Several of her videos that notch up millions of views show her dancing with the bear, and others stage scenes from everyday life, for example, showing her shopping for sausages, which are then delivered to the bear in a rucksack before it disappears with the food.