Free Polar Bears From Circus Captivity

Polar_Bear_-_Alaska_(cropped) via alan wilson

Target: Vladimir Medinsky, Russian Minister of Culture

Goal: Stop forcing endangered wild polar bears into lives of abuse and slavery at circuses.

Polar bears are being forced to perform degrading tricks in Russian circuses. The massive creatures are forced to stand on their hind legs and roar into microphones as their muzzles are held shut by thick wire and ropes placed through holes pierced into the septum by a hot needle. They are forced to dance, play football, and ice skate. Unfortunately, these scenes are all too common in Russia due to its lax circus laws.

Polar bears, a vulnerable and declining species, are taken from the wild as cubs and forced into a life of servitude and abuse. Many of the cubs do not survive the trauma of capture, the stress of transport, and the excessively rough handling they face on the way to the circus. Even more die after being subjected to the industry’s barbaric training methods, which according to one Russian trainer, are necessary to break down the bear’s self-preservation instincts so that it does not harm humans when full grown.

Trainers chain young cubs to walls by their necks and hind legs in order to force them to stand upright for extended periods of time. They starve the bears, beat them with metal rods, and burn them with cigarettes in order to force compliance. The creatures will then spend the rest of their lives performing for crowds under threats of injury and abuse.

With only 25,000 polar bears left in the wild, it is imperative that they are protected from exploitation by humans. In order to ensure this, Russia must implement laws protecting wild and endangered animals from being captured and forced into slavery for entertainment. Sign the petition below to demand that Russia put a stop to the barbaric use of polar bears in circuses.


Dear Minister Medinsky,

Polar bears are being taken from their mothers as cubs and forced into a life of torture and mistreatment at the hands of circus handlers. Their muzzles and noses are pierced with hot needles to make holes for wire muzzles, and they are forced to perform unnatural tricks for large audiences.

There remain less than 25,000 of these bears in the wild due to natural factors such as habitat decline, and exploitation for entertainment and profit is further hurting these numbers. We, the undersigned, demand that Russia bans the use of polar bears and other wild, endangered species in cruel circuses.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Alan Wilson

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