1. ITV Report

Putin flies hang glider to lead Cranes on migration route

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has tracked a Siberian tiger and posed with a polar bear, has taken his love of wildlife to new heights by flying with cranes - to lead them on a migration route.

Putin has communed with wild animals several times as part of an effort to create the image of a clean-living, nature-loving person during his 12 years as Russia's paramount leader.

This time around, he donned a baggy white costume with a spacious helmet and goggles and flew in a motorised deltaplane light aircraft surrounded by several young cranes that were born in captivity, in order to help introduce them to the wild.

"They got used to it. They are not afraid, they are overtaking the deltaplane," a smiling Putin said after landing, as shown on broadcaster Russia Today.

"They are overtaking, approaching the wing from the left, from the right, from above. Well done. Beautiful guys. Cute. They are three months old but already quite big."

A topless Vladimir Putin rides a horse in Siberia in 2009. Credit: Reuters