Stop the Exploitation of Bears for Human Amusement

bear circus

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

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  1. caryl sawyer says:

    Gee, Russian athletes are just as dumb as ours! Maybe this guy corresponds with Vick.

    Oh, wait. That assumes both guys are literate.

    • Anyone that does this is a horrible piece of scum and idiot to start with. The sad thing is animals have NO rights and can be treated any way. I hate them all….

  2. Rita Grahn says:

    Типичные жестокие мусора российские варварские дикари. Вы никогда не будет так хорошо, как нас с Запада. Я приветствую всех медведей, что ответный удар и убить Вас и Ваших детей на их дни рождения.

  3. Emily March says:

    Was it Tolstoy who said “all that lives likes to live” (please read: a decent life)? Wise man…

  4. Can’t believe this is still going on???!!!!

  5. Karen Remnant says:

    Makes you wonder at the mentality of these people! This is not ‘entertainment’ it’s animal cruelty!

  6. All wild animals are forbidden in circusses !

  7. Kae Blecha, OTR says:

    Please do the right thing while Putin is distracted!

  8. What is wrong with you???? Can’t you find another way to entertain you son???? STUPID !!!!

  9. Norma Whittaker says:

    Who does this to a non human animal???? Trainers!!!! The methods are despicable. I have witnessed an elephant at Ringling in the US being struck by a BULLHOOK for NO REASON. I cried for days and literally had to leave work one day. Our job in the care of non human animals is to tend to there natural environment and leave them ALONE!!!! I can’t even imagine what this poor bear must endure when not performing . Like striking children , when is it enough???? Who decides??? The horses that we ride were once free, but now have there will broken. Exactly what is done to circus animals. Baby elephants are taken from there mothers and tortured until there will is broken and they live in fear and isolation. Tigers are sprayed with water and have electricity running through the whips when they are performing. So the trainer has the upper hand???? Tigers are punched in the face and of course horses are hit with whips. This seems to be perfectly acceptable behavior right here in the UNITED STATES. The bear and all animals deserve freedom from HUMANS and our cruelty towards. All we can do is rescue these poor creatures and provide SANCTUARIES for them as they are no longer able to survive as NATURE INTENDED. Please support accredited sanctuaries here in the US. Many of the survivers in sanctuaries are a result of ANIMAL TRAINERS .

  10. Attend Circus demonstrations. Stop the torture. YOU HAVE A VOICE and non human animals don’t. Many people are unaware that animals are so abused for our entertainment . Tell them so it can stop.

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