SHOCKING footage has emerged from a muzzled bear who is forced to perform before a Russian league match on the threshold of the country hosting the World Cup.
Circus Bear "Tim & # 39; can be seen as presenting the matchball to the referee before clapping to fans while standing on his hind legs before the third match between Mashuk-KMV and Angusht.
Some reports suggested that Tim would be used at the World Cup opening ceremony, but has since been denied by FIFA.  The video has drawn broad condemnation from animal rights groups, with Peta's Animal Welfare Director, Elisa Allen, who calls the inhuman accident.
"In addition to being inhuman and completely out of touch by using a bear as a trapped servant to deliver a football, it's even dangerous," Allen said.
"The bear is the symbol of Russia, so we hope the people of the country will show compassion and national pride and stop misusing them. Common decency should force the league to pull this stunt."
Britain's country director for Four Paws, Brian when Cal says that people should understand the physical and psychological consequences that this has on animals.
"While some supposedly find this depressing scene, entertaining, there is no desire for this kind of abuse," Cal said.
"Bears are wild animals and as such have very specific and complex needs . "
" Being chained up, muzzled and forced to perform unnatural actions in front of large, harsh crowds causes tremendous stress and can have an incredible effect on these animals, both psychological and physical. "