Advertisement

‘Utterly out of touch’: Performing bear at Russian soccer game draws fury

Performing bear at Russian soccer game prompts outrage
WATCH: Performing bear at Russian soccer game prompts outrage

Animal rights groups around the world are sounding off after a circus bear was made to perform ahead of a soccer game in Russia.

The bear, named Tima, was brought out at the Mashuk-KMV Pyatigorsk club’s stadium before Saturday’s game.

READ MORE: BC SPCA identifies owner of dog found with chain collar embedded in neck

Video from the event shows that the bear was instructed to sit and clap, as the crowd cheered. It was then given a ball to hold and hand over to the referee.

PETA was quick to denounce the use of a performance animal, calling it “inhumane” and dangerous.

“In addition to being inhumane and utterly out of touch, using a bear as a captive servant to deliver a football is downright dangerous,” Elisa Allen, U.K. director of animal welfare charity Peta, told BBC News.

Story continues below advertisement

WATCH: Zoocheck says video of bear eating ice cream in Alberta drive-thru sends ‘wrong message’

Zoocheck says video of bear eating ice cream in Alberta drive-thru sends ‘wrong message’
Zoocheck says video of bear eating ice cream in Alberta drive-thru sends ‘wrong message’

New York-based World Animal Protection group also condemned the stunt Monday, saying that it’s clear “cruel training methods have been used” on the bear.

Rustam Dudov, manager of the Mashuk club which arranged for the bear to perform, told the Sport Express newspaper Monday that the bear was borrowed from a travelling circus which approached the club itself.

Dudov said the Russian Football Union approved the performance.

READ MORE: N.S. fishermen caught on video abusing, killing seal pup handed hefty fines

Another source of controversy was the stadium’s announcer who suggested the bear would appear at the opening ceremony of the FIFA 2018 World Cup, which is slated to begin in Moscow in June.

Story continues below advertisement

FIFA has denied the claim, BBC News reported.

— With files from The Associated Press