Апреля 24, 2018

Bear helps kick off Russian football match

17 Апреля 2018, 09:32 | Joan Schultz

Did a bear just do a trial run for opening World Cup in Russia

Did a bear just do a trial run for opening World Cup in Russia

However, the real entertainment - if you can call it that - came before a ball had been kicked in anger when a real, live brown bear was tasked with handing over the match-ball to the referee, who didn't seem to bat an eyelid at the prospect.

A match in the 27th round of the Russian Professional Football League (PFL) between Pyatigorsk's "Mashuk-KMV" and Nazran's "Angusht" began with the bear, named Tim, solemnly handing the ball to the main referee of the match.

"Bears are not willing performers, so Russian circuses and other lousy acts take them from their mothers as babies and then "train" them using beatings, electric shocks, cigarette burns and food deprivation to make them perform belittling, stupid tricks like this, which make no sense to them".

The bear wore a muzzle over his face and was made to sit on his hind legs and make clapping motions.

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

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Russian Federation hosts the FIFA World Cup from 14 June.

"Bears are wild animals and as such have very specific and complex needs".

Animal rights groups condemned the display.

Brian da Cal, country director of Four Paws UK, said: "While some supposedly find this depressing scene "entertaining" there is nothing at all light-hearted about this kind of abuse".

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