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Animal rights group condemns 'inhumane' treatment of bear at Russia football game

A video showing a bear performing at a football match in Russia has been condemned by animal rights activists.

The footage shows a circus bear called 'Tim' being paraded before fans at a third-tier match between Mashuk-KMV and Angusht in Pyatigorsk.and clapping in front of them.

The YouTube clip below then shows the bear give the ball to the referee before clapping once more while stood on its hind legs.

Elisa Allen, director of animal welfare charity Peta, told the BBC: "In addition to being inhumane and utterly out of touch, using a bear as a captive servant to deliver a football is downright dangerous.

[quote]The bear is the symbol of Russia, so we hope the country's people will show some compassion and national pride and stop abusing them. [/quote]

"Common decency should compel the league to pull this stunt."

Russia will host the World Cup from 14 June and FIFA has denied claims from Angusht that it will be used in the tournament's opening ceremony.