Prosecutors Inspect Bear Caged at Urals Roadside Cafe

Prosecutors in the Russian Urals city of Chelyabinsk have carried out an inspection at a local roadside cafe following reports of mistreatment by its owners of a bear who lives in a cage there.

Local residents launched an online campaign in May to protect the bear, which was said to be living in a small cage and only fed potato peelings.

Activists said the animal was exhausted and could barely stand.

Media reports quoted Evelina Sabashvili, a senior specialist at the Chelyabinsk Zoo, as saying that this was not the only case when a bear was used by cafe owners to attract clients.

“Owners of roadside cafes think that bears should entertain their visitors,” she said. “But in fact, a picture like this can only provoke sad thoughts and emotions.”

In a statement posted on its official website on Monday, the regional prosecutor’s office said the health of the 4-year-old bear, which was given to its current owner by a local zoo, was satisfactory and all its veterinary documents were in order.

“They have a veterinary license and veterinary passport which contains information about [the bear’s] annual examinations and vaccination. The bear is fed three times a day,” the statement said.

Local ecology authorities have had no complaints about the bear’s treatment, it added.


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