A young woman loses her arm as she climbs over a fence to pat a wild bear outside of a restaurant in Russia


bear tomskThe tragedy was bound to happen in a country where hundreds of bears are kept in tiny cages all around Russia outsides of cafes as an entertainment and to attract visitors.

The incident took place in the Russian city of Tomsk, in the early morning of Sunday, July 5th when a 24 year woman went to see the caged animal while her husband was ordering food. The young woman approached a cage and reached out her hand to pat the wild animal. At this point the bear grabbed her arm and ripped it off up to the shoulder joint. Her husband and the owner of the restaurant heard her screams and rushed outside to drag her away from the animal. The remaining arm has been eaten by the bear.

According to the witnesses as well as the CCTV cameras, the young woman was heavily under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident and climbed over a fence restricting access to the cage. She is now hospitalized in a critical condition. The investigation is taking place whether the restaurant owners had a permit to keep a wild animal on their premises. It is now feared that the animal will be put down as a result of the attack.

The kind-hearted citizens of Tomsk have started a social media campaign posted on www.change.org to save the bear from euthanasia and relocate him to a zoo. There are currently over 160 581 supporters of the campaign to reach the required 200,000.

Sadly, this tragedy is not a one-off accident. There are numerous attacks of wild animals, kept in cages whether in zoos or private territory, that have been documented in the recent years throughout Russia. Because the animals are kept in unnatural and inadequate conditions that are often harmful to their physical and psychological wellbeing, nothing prevents from this story reoccurring in the future.

The Big Hearts Foundation previously having assisted the rescue of Sochi bears, strongly opposes to the existing trend of keeping bears and wild animals caged in grim conditions to attract restaurant visitors.