Target: Sergey Donskoy, Russian Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection
Goal: End the use of bears for human entertainment in Russia
A pro-athlete living in Russia recently made headlines for renting a live bear for his two-year-old son’s birthday party. The bear, rented from a local circus, was muzzled and forced to allow children to sit on him for the duration of the party. Animal welfare laws are very sparse in Russia, making this sort of animal-human exploitation all too possible, but Russian ministers have the power to change the fate of bears used for entertainment.
Kirill Kombarov, a midfielder for FC Torpedo Moscow, hired a huge bear as entertainment for his son’s themed birthday gathering. The bear has been performing for years, though had a muzzle on to prevent bites. However, the bear’s arms were free, so any act of aggression could have been deadly. The bear came from a circus called Stepan Nikulin, and is often used in films.
Russia’s animal welfare laws are lax. For example, animals that perform in the nation’s circuses are kept in tiny, plain cages, with no stimulation when not performing. Zoo enclosures in Russia too often do not resemble the captive animals’ natural environments and are instead dreary, concrete, small, and inadequate for harsh weather. The bear featured at Kombarov’s son’s party could have been hurt or fed something to make it ill and likely would not have been rehabilitated.
Sign this petition to urge the Russian minister responsible for environmental protection to implement harsher animal welfare laws in Russia. Bears should not be available for birthday-party rental or circus performances. They deserve interesting, fulfilling lives in their natural environments.
Dear Minister Donskoy,
A pro-Russian footballer recently rented a bear for his son’s birthday party. Kirill Kombarov, a midfielder for FC Torpedo Moscow, put his son and all other children present at the party in harm’s way. The bear, rented from a Russian circus, could have easily swiped at any of the humans there, which would have resulted in severe injury or death.
The lives of animals used for entertainment in Russia are extremely sad. They are given little environmental enrichment; many are forced to live in concrete boxes when not satisfying human onlookers. The lives of Russia’s captive bears must change.
Minister Donskov, I urge you to develop strict animal welfare policies on behalf of these misunderstood and abused bears. Please ban the use of bears in Russian entertainment. They are too intelligent to be humiliated in the ways that they are.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Cliff via Flickr