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Russia’s Olympic Bear Of St. Petersburg Circus Kept Caged On Parked Bus: please send sample letter, sign petitions

August 3, 2011

Please sign Petitions and send Sample Letter protesting the continuous enslavement of bears and other circus animals in St. Petersburg, Russia. 


From Huffington Post
By Dmitry Lovetsky

St. Petersburg, Russia — For two years, a 36-year-old bear who performed during the 1980 Moscow Olympics has been kept with other retired circus animals in a rusty old bus parked on the outskirts of St. Petersburg.

Animal rights activists say they receive only minimal care in their cramped and stinking cages.

Katya the bear was a longtime star of the Big St. Petersburg State Circus on Fontanka, where night after night she and another bear delighted children by riding motorcycles around the ring.

During the 1980 Summer Games, the bears were applauded by thousands at a ceremony opening the football competition in St. Petersburg, then called Leningrad. Katya also performed in two movies released in the 1980s.

Since her retirement in 2009, Katya and the painted bus on which she once toured with the circus have not left a parking lot near a busy highway. The aging bear spends the long hours jumping up and down in her cage and trying to crack the rusty metal railings with her chipped and yellowed teeth.

Dozens of other retired circus animals also live in the smelly cages placed inside the bus and a minivan parked nearby.

Some occasionally are taken out to accompany photographers to downtown St. Petersburg to have their pictures taken with children and tourists. Others never get washed or examined by veterinarians, animal rights activists say.

Related | Russia’s Olympic Bear Caged On Rusty Bus

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“They can’t move normally and start going crazy,” Zoya Afanasyeva of the Vita animal rights group said as she stood by Katya’s sweltering bus on a hot summer day.

“Apparently they are being taken care of, but not more often than once a day, and this care is perfunctory because the smell here in the parking lot is unbearable,” Afanasyeva said.

Klava the bear shares a small cage with Pasha the boar. Birds with atrophied muscles live next to cats that don’t meow and stare straight ahead with pus-covered eyes.

Circus director Viktor Savrasov said the animals are cared for and Katya’s fate would have been worse if her trainer had agreed to have the bear put to sleep.

“Whatever happened, she did not leave her,” he said of retired trainer Natalya Arkhipova, who still visits Katya to feed her.

Animal rights activists have long urged Russia’s government to strengthen animal protection laws.


To free Russia’s Olympic bear and other animals kept caged on parked bus

Save Russia’s Olympic Bear Of St. Petersburg Circus





Send a Letter to the President (click on red ‘Send a Letter’ after reading the requirements)

Postal Address:

Consular Division, Embassy of the Russian Federation
2641 Tunlaw RD., N.W.
Washington D.C. 20007
Phone: +1 202.939.8907, 202.939.8913, 202.939.8918
Telex: (232) 248708 COEM UR
Fax: +1 202.483.7579


To Whom It Concerns,

I am writing today to encourage you to relinquish the Olympic Bear Of St. Petersburg Circus and the other circus animals languishing in cages on a bus to sanctuary. These non-human animals have been subjected to enslavement, imprisonment, forced to endure inadequate space, inferior medical treatment and care, lack of companionship, and involuntary training, made to perform tricks and have pictures taken with ignorant audiences. Although you may assert that humane protocols are observed, the visual evidence validates the position that this care is ignored in favor of profit.

As the result of a more attentive and compassionate group, individuals comprising a large global audience concerned with these animals have been respectfully offering medical evidence establishing the debilitating natures to which these animals are exposed. Sadly, however, apparent greed and indifference have resulted in their deteriorating mental and physical states. By refusing to release them, you are establishing your approval of animal cruelty, and I am appalled to learn of your deliberate involvement in the exploitation of animals.

I hope you make the compassionate decision to discontinue your imprisonment of them and reject complicity in the unethical industry that profits from their suffering. However, as long as you continue to unnecessarily capitalize on the exploitation, imprisonment, and maltreatment of them, I will not financially support you via tourism or commerce.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue; I hope you extend an ethical and empathetic gesture to release these non-human animals to sanctuary.



what the hell do the russians think
that the bear enjoys the bus
and shares a drink
this aging animal
should finally be free
released to an appropriat­e
bear sanctuary!­

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

11 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2011 12:03 pm

    what the hell do the russians think
    that the bear enjoys the bus
    and shares a drink
    this aging animal
    should finally be free
    released to an appropriat­e
    bear sanctuary!­


    August 3, 2011 12:18 pm



  3. jeremy henry permalink
    August 4, 2011 2:27 pm

    People of russia you need 2 evolve


  4. Magdalena permalink
    August 4, 2011 3:09 pm

    If animals could create their own religion, man would be their satan…


  5. Anja Noel permalink
    August 4, 2011 5:19 pm

    The great majority, just like Asians, are a calloused, insensitive brut.
    But! On Sundays they crawl on knees infront of the altar begging for forgiveness – what a joke. I hope that they receive the punishment they deserve!


  6. Marcia permalink
    August 4, 2011 8:18 pm

    Russia has a long way to go to achieve enlightment!


  7. Calliope permalink
    August 5, 2011 12:52 am

    Signed but in complete awe at the callousness of people. Damn it really riles me up each time. I wonder if they would like to put in a cage and locked up like that. How can they be so uncaring. So we send the letter and hopefully get some action which would be wonderful but how do you get people to change their attitude, the ones that are sitting fine with the what is going on in front of their eyes and have no qualms about it. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr screaming might relieve some anger at these poor excuses for human beings.


  8. Ruth permalink
    August 5, 2011 7:11 am

    If you look back at the history of Russia and you will see how cruel they treated their own people, so this cruelty to animals does not surprise me!


  9. dara permalink
    August 13, 2011 12:18 pm

    It’s time to make a change people of Russia!


  10. Burçak Kocaalp permalink
    August 23, 2011 5:44 am



  11. September 7, 2011 9:02 am

    This is disgusting and pathetic. Someone in Russia should go and relocate these animals and set them free!! Shame on Russia!!


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