More recently, another bear was performing in a Russian circus when he became frightened and tried to run off-stage. In response, the circus trainers started beating the scared bear with sticks — the bear eventually fought back, attacking one of the trainers in front of a live audience.
"The exploitation of bears in Russia seems never-ending, with this shameful stunt the latest to reduce these magnificent animals to little more than figures of fun,” Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International (ADI), told The Dodo. “For the bears forced to perform tricks it is certainly no laughing matter, with individuals enduring a lifetime of suffering and abuse. With all eyes on the World Cup host nation, we hope Russia will listen to the outpouring of anger and take action to end these disgraceful acts that compromise animal welfare and public safety."