Bear hands over ball before Russian third division game

Bear hands over ball before Russian third division game

Shocking footage has emerged from Russian Federation showing a bear being made to hand over the match ball before a game in the third division.

The Russian football league has been criticised after a trained bear was forced to perform tricks before a third division game.

Turns out, the referee had to take the ball from the bear.

Before the starting whistle to the field brought a circus bear named Tim. Testirovanie animal wearing a muzzle.

Footage of a bear performing in front of fans before a Russian league match has been condemned as "shocking and inhumane" by animal welfare group PETA.

The team that arranged the bear stunt claimed the animal was going to perform a similar service at the 2018 World Cup, but Federation Internationale de Football Association officials said no such plans have been made.

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Elisa Allen, Animal Welfare Charity Director at PETA blasted the incident as cruel and "utterly out of touch".

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

"In addition to being inhumane and utterly out of touch, using a bear as a captive servant to deliver a football is downright unsafe", she said.

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".

Unconfirmed reports are even claiming that the stunt could be in preparation for something similar at the 2018 World Cup.

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