Earlier this month, a shocking video appeared online showing a Russian circus bear being beaten by its trainers in the city of Volgograd. The video begins with the bear - leashed and muzzled - sliding down a slide on a strange wheeled contraption as if it were surfing. When it comes to a stop, it focuses on one of its trainers and goes in for the attack.
The attack is accompanied by the sound of screaming children as parents look on in horror while the bear is being beaten with sticks by other circus workers.
Watching the bear go from docile prop to powerful wild beast to a cowering giant - all within a matter of seconds - is heartbreaking.
This bear has no idea why it is being forced to do these ridiculous tricks. And when he pushed back because he couldn't handle it anymore he was beaten to submission.
Last year, in another Russian city, another trainer was attacked by a circus bear. In that instance, the trainer was lucky to get away with his life.
These types of incidents will continue to happen until using animals in circuses is banned worldwide, especially in Russia where these types of shows are pervasive.
Bears, like other animals, are not entertainment, they have their own will and desires and deserve to live a life free from cruelty - preferably in the wild where they belong. These types of shows reduce a living, breathing animal down to an object that can be forced to do as we want when we want. It's not only cruel, it is wrong.
Let's call on the Russian Government to ban these dancing bear shows nationwide. They are cruel and belong in the past. Tell Russia we are watching their treatment of animals, and we don't approve.
Please sign and let's put an end to this nonsense.