Animal rights group furious after Russian bear is ‘forced’ to perform in a football match
A pro animal welfare group known as the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has condemned a video that surfaced online where a Russian bear was captured entertaining fans in the opening of a football match.
In a 1-minute long video, a Russian bear named as ‘Tim’ could be seen being led by a guide into the pitch, therefore after, it sat on the two hind legs and received the ball from the guide before handing it to the referee.
Appearing to be cheerful, the bear went on to clap for the fans who were cheering back to usher in a third-division match between two Russian teams Mashuk-KMV and Angusht in Pyatigorsk.
While responding to the incident, the animal welfare group as termed the act as ‘inhumane and shocking’ arguing that the rights of the animal were trampled upon in the process.
As revealed by the BBC Sport, PETA director Elisa Allen considered the move to be a dangerous one as well.
“In addition to being inhumane and utterly out of touch, using a bear as a captive servant to deliver a football is downright dangerous,” she said.
She said that bears are wild and their hnadlers should always take note of their needs.
Despite the bear being a Russian national symbol, the group has cautioned the organizers to avoid similar act in the fourth coming 2018 World Cup tournament, slotted for June in Russia.
She said: "The bear is the symbol of Russia, so we hope the country's people will show some compassion and national pride and stop abusing them. Common decency should compel the league to pull this stunt."
The group director delved deeply by describing the situation, hence giving support for their stance-why they consider the move tormenting for animals.
"Being chained up, muzzled and forced to perform unnatural acts in front of large, rowdy crowds of people causes tremendous stress and can have an untold impact on these animals, both psychological and physical," she said as BBC indicates.
However, world football governing body FIFA has denied any plans that a bear will feature in the 2018 World Cup opening ceremony.