Video of Emaciated ‘Bear Man’ Left in Cave Now in Question

Video of Emaciated ‘Bear Man’ Left in Cave Now in Question
Brown bear yawns after awakening from winter hibernation at the Moscow Zoo, on April 4, 2006. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images)

A viral video showing a man suffering from malnutrition and skin damage allegedly from a bear attack is now in question after several media sources reported a doctor came forward claiming the man is a patient of his who has severe psoriasis.

Multiple media outlets reported that an emaciated Russian man was found alive in a bear’s den after hunters dogs discovered him. The stories said that he was found with a broken back and had survived being mauled by a bear in the Republic of Tuva.

According to the Siberian Times, the man’s name is Alexander and was forced to drink his own urine to survive.

Now reports of a doctor named Rustam Isaev are circulating saying that the man is from Kazakhstan, not Tuva, and that he suffers from “chronic psoriasis and other complications.”

Satellite image of Kazakhstan
Satellite image of Kazakhstan from Google Maps. (Google Maps)

Isaev allegedly told the Daily Mail that the man in the video was treated at the Aktobe Medical Centre in Kazakhstan and was discharged in satisfactory condition into his mother’s care.

“He suffers from psoriasis,” said Isaev in his alleged interview. “He had been lying at home, suffering from apathy, he did not want to live. He was in a depressive state.”

According to the Daily Mail, the patient’s mother took him away after he was treated and is allegedly upset with the rumors being spread online.

“He did not get treatment for his skin condition,” said Isaev in his alleged interview. “He neglected his psoriasis, and in such a state he was brought to us.”

Other theories making their rounds on the internet include the man being an addict of a street drug used in Russia called Krokodil—a cheap alternative to heroin also known as Desomorphine—or even an actor in a zombie movie.

The drug Krokodil can cause severe tissue damage and gangrene.


Desomorphine, or Krokodil, is made with a mixture of codeine, iodine, gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid, lighter fluid, and red phosphorus. It has been called the “flesh-eating zombie drug” and was very created in 1932 as a painkiller.

The drug is called Krokodil (crocodile) because of the scale-like appearance it can cause in those who use it, according to the New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. The office notes that the drug is highly impure and when injected can cause severe tissue damage, including injury to the veins and death.

The drug is contributing to the opiate problem in Russia and Ukraine, where heroin is scarce or too expensive for addicts.

A young drug addict in Russia
Alya, 17, undergoes treatment for addiction to drugs including heroin, krokodil, and others at City Without Drugs in Yekaterinburg, Russia on Oct. 16, 2013. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
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