Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Animal rights group slam bear use at Russian soccer match

Animal rights group slam bear use at Russian soccer match

Towering over his trainer, a circus bear that was standing on his hind legs clutched a soccer ball in his large paws and then handed it to the referee before a European match over the weekend in Russian Federation.

The brown bear was brought to a game between Mashuk-KMV and FC Angusht Nazran and was led onto the edge of the pitch as the teams prepared for kick-off.

He is then made to clasp a football between his front paws, before handing it back to the referee and clapping to signal the start of the game.

The performance, which comes just a few months before the start of the World Cup in Russian Federation, has been called "inhumane" by animal rights campaigners.

PETA UK director Elisa Allen also described the act as "inhumane".

She said: "In addition to being inhumane, using a bear as a captive servant to deliver a football is downright unsafe".

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'The bear is the symbol of Russian Federation, so we hope the country's people will show some compassion and national pride and stop abusing them.

The whole incident was captured on video and to say it's unusual is an understatement.

Animal rights groups condemned the display.

That said, few football fans would be surprised to see a whole zoo of captive animals running around at any event run by FIFA.

She said that bears are wild and their hnadlers should always take note of their needs.

Even the announcer said that Tima will participate in the World Cup's opening ceremony in Moscow which is scheduled in June.

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