This is the latest stunt that has people knowing him as a macho man
Being president of Russia seems to be anything but boring.
Sure, Vladimir Putin may be under attack for suppressing dissent, may be the reason for protests and is the subject of songs by a punk-rock band, but look at all the cool stuff he gets to do on the job.
He tracked Siberian tigers and even shot one with a tranquilizer dart to save a TV crew. He attached a tracking device to a polar bear and posed with it while in the far north of Russia. He even entertained Prince Albert of Monaco by taking him fishing in Siberia.
And now for his latest stunt, the wildlife lover took to the skies with Siberian cranes. He donned a baggy white costume, helmet and goggles while flying a motorized hang glider to help introduce young cranes born in captivity into the wild.
"They got used to it. They are not afraid, they are overtaking the deltaplane," he said to broadcaster Rossiya 24 after landing.
The goal of the exercise was to prepare the cranes for their migration route. Only one bird followed him on the first flight, but five followed on the second and two stuck with him for the full 15-minute flight.
[ Related Gallery: Putin flies with the cranes ]
While this stunt appeared to be the real deal, he recently was caught in a scam stunt. Putin went scuba diving and brought up fragments of ancient Greek artifacts, but his spokesman later admitted the objects were planted for Putin to find.
He also rides horses, plays hockey, swims in Siberian lakes, flies in fighter aircraft and has a black belt in judo.
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(With files from Reuters)