When is Grizzly Bear Cubs and Me on TV?

Watch this heart-warming two-part Christmas special when Gordon Buchanan meets a Russian family returning bear cubs to the wild.

Grizzly Bear Cubs and Me. © Anwar Mamon

Wildlife filmmaker and presenter Gordon Buchanan travels to Russia in the latest ‘Animals and Me’ TV programmes.

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When is Grizzly Bear Cubs and Me on the BBC?

The two-part series airs on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 December, at 9pm on on BBC Two.

In the first episode, Buchanan meets the Pazhetnov family and the grizzly bear cub orphans. The six cubs have just been rescued, and are only five weeks old.

In the second episode, the orphans must be prepared for release into the wild.

Meet the cubs

The six orphaned cubs are three sets of brothers.

  • Pasha and Slava were found dumped in a bin near Moscow, and it is suspected that their mother was poached.
Gordon Buchanan with ‘Pasha’ and ‘Slava’. © Anwar Mamon
Gordon Buchanan with Pasha and Slava. © Anwar Mamon

Tolya and Tyoma were found in a box outside a vets in St Petersberg

Five of the six cubs. © BBC
Five of the six cubs. © BBC

Zhenya and Zhora’s mother was accidentally scared away by loggers, tho then handed in the cubs to the Pazhetnov family

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Zhora, aged four months, foraging for food. © Anwar Mamon
Zhora, aged four months, foraging for food. © Anwar Mamon
12-week-old cub Zhenya hones his climbing skills. © Anwar Mamon
12-week-old cub Zhenya hones his climbing skills. © Anwar Mamon

Who are the Pazhetnovs?

For 25 years the Pazhetnovs, a family of biologists, have been raising and releasing orphaned bears. They have released over 200 cubs and are world-renowned as bear rehab experts.

Katya and Sergey Pazhetnov at the Orphaned Bear Rescue Centre. © Anwar Mamon
Katya and Sergey Pazhetnov at the Orphaned Bear Rescue Centre. © Anwar Mamon