Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Katya the bear, star of 1980 Moscow Olympics, now lives neglected life in rusty cage in parked bus

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.
"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.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com



Dear Sir/Madame,

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.

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.

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.


In Russian:

Всем, к кому это относится

Я пишу сегодня, чтобы побудить вас отказаться от олимпийского медведя Санкт-Петербурге цирк и других цирковых животных томятся в клетках на автобусе до святилища. Эти не-человека животные были подвергнуты рабство, лишение свободы, вынуждены терпеть недостаточно пространства, уступает лечение и уход, отсутствие общения, обучения и невольные, сделанные для выполнения трюков и есть фотографии, сделанные с невежественной аудитории. Хотя вы можете утверждать, что гуманные протоколы наблюдается, визуальное свидетельство подтверждает положение, что эта помощь не учитывается в пользу прибыли.

В результате более внимательными и сострадательными группы, лица, состоящий из большого глобальной аудитории, связанные с этими животными были почтительно предлагают медицинское свидетельство установления изнурительных природы, к которым эти животные подвержены. К сожалению, однако, очевидно жадность и равнодушие привели к их ухудшению психического и физического состояния.

Я надеюсь, что вы делаете сострадательный решение о прекращении Вашего заключения из них и отказаться от соучастия в неэтичном промышленности, что прибыль от их страданий.

Спасибо за Ваше внимание к этому важному вопросу, я надеюсь, что вы продлить этических и чуткими жест, чтобы освободить эти не-человека животных святилище.

С уважением,
Name, Country


Send a Letter to the President

Russian Federation Embassy and Consulate Locator




dmitry.sudakov@pravda.ru, advertising@pravda.ru

The St. Petersburg Times 

(please add the links and the video

UK / Europe
Animal Defenders International
Millbank Tower
Tel: +44 (0)20 7630 3340
Fax: +44 (0)20 7828 2179
Email: info@ad-international.org

WSPA International

5th Floor 222 Grays Inn Road London WC1X 8HB UK
Phone:+44 (0)20 7239 0500
Fax:+44 (0)20 7239 0653

IFAW Russia

Smolensky Passage
Smolenskaya Square 3
121099 Moscow

Tel: +7 495 937 82 90
Fax: +7 495 937 83 86

Answer from IFAW:

"The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is not in possession of this bear. We have seen pictures of Katya, and it makes us sick to see any animal held in such disgusting conditions. Although there are laws against keeping animals this way in Moscow, there are no such regulations in St. Petersburg, so the "caretakers" of this bear are seen as doing nothing wrong. IFAW Supporter Relations "

Very sad.  IFAW has several successful bear projects in Russia but, regrettably, we are not working in St. Petersburg, nor are we able to mount a campaign for every deserving animal welfare issue, although we wish we could. We must focus our energies and our resources on the anti-cruelty campaigns available for you to see on our website. That is the way we feel we can do the most good for the animals.
A group that focuses on circus animals around the world is Animal Defenders International:
http://www.ad-international.org/adi_world/. You may want to contact them about their work.
You may also be interested in a web site called World Animal Net (http://worldanimal.net/) - it contains a directory of animal welfare organizations in most countries. You may find a group working in St. Petersburg that may be able to help.

We sincerely regret that we cannot be of more assistance.

Ronnie O'Connor

Report from Vita one of the organisations working to try to improve animal welfare in Russia:

“Situation around the female bear Katya draws a wide response not only in Russia, but worldwide too.

We, Animal Rights Center ‘Vita’,get a great number of responses and questions about this situation. Here is a brief report about the situation and its progress. We’ve received a video about one of Saint-Petersburg’s car park. At the car park in several vans were imprisoned female bears Katya and Klava and a pig Pasha.
Unlike other animals Katya is a famous bear. She was at the Sain-Petersburg Olympic Games Opening in 80th. This fact was one of the main reason why the case has so wide response. We’ve found an animal shelter near Saint-Petersburg. Administration of the shelter offer a place for Katya. But bear’s owner rejected this possibility. Motivation of this decision was simple. Bear live in similar conditions for 37 years and got accustomed to them. Change of the setting may lead to a stress and further death. Besides of this only skilled human must look after dangerous animals. There is no such man in the shelter and the owner refuses from everyday trips to the shelter. Russian legislation has no law about animal rights protection and the owner may do with the animal whatever she wants. Klava and Pasha are still in business. They participate in the shows at the circus and they are used in photo business at the Fontanka Circus. They bring money to the owner and their resettlement to the animal shelter is don’t considered by the owner.
There are multitude of circus in Russia and there are more than 15 000 animals in the system. And all of them live in the same conditions or worst. But people don’t know about this. Circus are hiding information about animals trainings and living conditions. They show to the public only a result of the torture but never torture. And lots of the people don’t pay their attention on this problem.
One of our aims is to bring to the society information about using and keeping animals in circus. Other aim is to create a legislation about animals rights. This law exists as the project since 1998 but it still not accepted. We want Russia to be like other civilized countries in which circuses with animals are prohibited.
You can to influence on the Russian government by the creating appropriate public opinion outside Russia. You can send information to a newspaper or TV. You can write note in your blog. And you can write a letter to the Russian government, to the Russian president Medvedevor to the Premier Putin. Also you can support animal shelter “BIM” in which live former circus animals in particular. Now we are trying to send there a lioness saved from a circus.”

Answer from WSPA
With regard to the welfare issues of bears in St. Petersburg, Russia, Vita Animal Rights Centre, Russia ( http://www.vita.org.ru/english/english.htm ) has a petition for people to sign here: http://www.change.org/petitions/save-russias-olympic-bear-of-st-petersburg-circus Several organisations are also urging people to write to the Russian Embassy in their country, and guidelines can be found here: http://ourcompass.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/russias-olympic-bear-of-st-petersburg-circus-kept-caged-on-parked-bus-please-send-sample-letter-sign-petition/
WSPA has repeatedly complained to the mayor about the treatment of bears in St. Petersburg and about other issues related to bears in Russia to the Russian authorities, but these complaints have not been addressed.
For more information on the challenges facing animal welfare efforts in Russia, please click on the following link;
Answer Title: Animal welfare in Russia
Kind regards,
Supporter Services

in the hands of man
 few animals win
 and those of us who care
 live with chagrin
 and those animals
 tormented, captive
 and sad
 innocent victims
 of a world
 quite mad:(
Karen Lyons Kalmenson

1 comment:

  1. in the hands of man
    few animals win
    and those of us who care
    live with chagrin
    and those animals
    tormented, captive
    and sad
    innocent victims
    of a world
    quite mad:(