1. ITV Report

Russia's President Putin shakes hands with a walrus

President Vladimir Putin shakes the hand of a walrus at the Primorsky Aquarium in eastern Russia Photo: Reuters

Russia's President Vladimir Putin proved he is equally happy befriending animals as he is hunting them when he shook hands with a walrus on Sunday.

Putin was visiting an aquarium on Russky Island near the eastern city of Vladivostok when he was introduced to the giant sea creature.

The president even broke his famously-steely demeanour to laugh as the walrus covered its eyes with its flippers in mock surprise and then gobbled down a fish.

He also spent time feeding a pair of dolphins, who inhabit what will be the world's largest covered dolphinarium when the centre welcomes its first public visitors next year.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin leans to touch dolphins as he visits the Primorsky Aquarium Credit: REUTERS/Alexei Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Putin is famous for his macho photo stunts and has engaging in a wide range of adventure activities: From bare-chested horse riding to tracking a tiger and plumbing the depths of a lake in a submarine.

A bare-chested Putin rides a horse in southern Siberia's Tuva region in 2009 Credit: REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin
Vladimir Putin with the sedated Siberian tiger Credit: Reuters

On one visit to the Russian Arctic, Putin was photographed helping researchers fit a tag to a sedated polar bear.

Putin tags a sedated polar bear on a visit to Alexandra Land on Franz Josef Land in the far north of Russia Credit: REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Nikolsky

Last September, the former KGB spy took the skies in a deltaplane in order to direct cranes on new migration routes.

Putin sits in a motorised deltaplane after guiding cranes to new migration routes Credit: REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Kremlin