In 1974, in the city of Vladivostok, located in eastern Russia, a little grizzly bear cub was brought to the circus. His name was Potap, and he was a pet of a military officer who lived on the ninth floor of a high rise apartment. Being a very curious animal, Potap climbed over the rails of the balcony and fell the whole ninth floors. Luckily, he survived the fall, but had his front paw broken. Ivan and Irina Yarovoi adopted the little cub and spent a lot of time nurturing him to health. Grateful Potap
became a very smart and gifted student. 1974 was the year of the meeting between Russian leader L. Brezhnev and US President Jerald Ford. As a gesture of good will, the Russian delegation gave the Americans a few Russian wild animals as a present. The American delegation wasn't able to take this small zoo of animals back home, so all of the animals were given to Russian zoos and circuses. One of the animals- a small grizzly cub later named Vasiliy ended up with the Yarovoi family. The year 1974 became the special beginning of a new life for senior circus hand Ivan Yarovoi and costume designer Irina Yarovoi. Day after day, Ivan and Irina mastered the difficult art of bear training. The clumsy cubs responded well to the love and care of their adoptive parents, and thus the Yarovois decided to pursue their true calling- training bears. One year later, in 1975, the Yarovoi family adopted a Himalayan bear cub. This cub was particularly unique because it was Albino, becoming the target of scientists, who wished to perform different types of research on it. Fortunately, the bear’s fur started to darken quickly, making the scientists lose their interest. Ultimately, this allowed the Yarovois to purchase the bear, afterwards named Martha, for the then-enormous price of 100 rubles. From 1974 to 1977 Ivan and Irina worked on their own Bear Show as a part of the Vladivostok circus, having to create and rehearse new tricks at night, since the circus ring was always occupied during the day. It took three years to create an extraordinarily unique show; the bears entered the circus ring and did trick after trick with no trainers in sight. It seemed like the trainers were only assisting the furry acrobats when it was absolutely necessary, such as when they jump-roped or drove the four wheeler. The brown bears ruled the circus ring!
In 1977, Ivan and Irina brought their brand new Bear Show to Moscow and were hired by Circus of V.A.Miriadu. They worked there until 1984. During that time, they adopted a few new bears- Anton, Aika, Fakir, and Amur. After many years of performing, these clumsy acrobats have eventually retired, but have still remained a huge part of the Yarovoi family. Anton, the legend of the Bear Show, still lives with the Yarovoi family. At 30 years of age he is an honorable retiree of the circus.
From 1984 to 1991, the Yarovoi family worked in the Russian National Circus. During this time, they have toured across the world to Yugoslavia, Australia, Japan, Canada, France, Austria, Singapore, Gong-Kong, Thailand. The audience adored the furry actors so much that Yarovois were invited to many of these countries over and over again. In 1987, they were awarded the Gold Medal of "Press and Audience Favorite".
Time has flown by! Irina and Ivan's son Andrei grew up and began to work with the Show as an assistant as a 17 year old. His numerous responsibilities included feeding, walking and grooming the bears, and cleaning their beds.Gradually he went through all of the steps needed to become a professional bear trainer. In 1991 Andrei married the ballet dancer of The Magic Show, Tatiana Selezneva. Since 1992 until present, the Yarovois' Bear Show has been a part of Big Moscow Circus. And in 1992 number passed to the staff of Big Moscow circus where had been working for nineteen and a half years. In September, 2010 number passed to the Rosgostsirk company. Within one and a half years since September 2010 to December 29, 2011 the attraction had been working in the cities of Russia. After the tragedy in Turkey the attraction is being restored. In January, 2012 we received six brown bear cubs. They received all names in honor of the lost bears.