Social media users were enraged after a video of bear playing vuvuzela while sitting in a moving jeep in Russia has gone viral. Football fans were celebrating Russia's victory in the opening World Cup match against Saudi Arabia by making the bear play the instrument.
Russia, which was considered as one of the weakest teams, smashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup that was held on June 14 in Moscow. The home team victory was celebrated by all, including a bear.
However, it soon became a controversy after social media users slammed the animal's handlers for making it play the instrument on a busy street. The bear played vuvuzela a few times and even saluted the crowd gathered there to watch. Several onlookers even took photos and videos of the animal and shared it on the social media platform, but it was not appreciated by social media users.
"Breaks my heart. How people can stand and laugh is beyond me. The amount of abuse that bear has lived through makes me feel sick," user @kezsajm tweeted.
"Awful treatment of a beautiful animal," user @ramonegangster added.
"World is going backwards fast if folks find this interesting," user @RavReehal tweeted.
This is not the first time a bear performing at the football match has been criticised. In April, animal welfare group slammed the Russian football team for using circus bear, known as Tim, to give the ball to the referee.
The animal welfare group condemned the whole incident and called it "shocking and inhumane."
"In addition to being inhumane and utterly out of touch, using a bear as a captive servant to deliver a football is downright dangerous," BBC quoted Elisa Allen, director of animal welfare charity Peta, as saying in April.
"The bear is the symbol of Russia, so we hope the country's people will show some compassion and national pride and stop abusing them. Common decency should compel the league to pull this stunt," Allen added.