If there’s a bear in the back seat, be sure it’s wearing a seat belt. Chances are, that precaution won’t get you off lightly in – say – Muncie, Indiana, but apparently in Russia having bears ride along is perfectly okay.
Stunned motorists got the shock of their lives when they spotted a massive brown bear in the back of a Volga car last month in Yekaterinburg, located in the Sverdlovsk Oblast region. The incident was caught on dashcam video by a driver who was following behind. (see video below)
Local police confirmed it was not illegal to transport bears in this way, as long as they wore seatbelts, in accordance with Russian road traffic laws. So the beast’s owner will not face prosecution.
They did not specify whether they had spoken with the driver or how they had verified that the bear was, in fact, buckled up for safety.
Although Moscow’s Filatov Circus – famous for its performances with bears – was in town at the time, they later confirmed that the animal had nothing to do with them.
Circus boss Julia Filatova said the one in the video was a young animal and that’s probably why it was decided it was safe to let the beast have its joy ride. She went on to say, “Our bears are much bigger. Normally little bears are kind and friendly. If it was more than a year old it wouldn’t have fit in such a car and certainly wouldn’t have gone inside happily.”
Filatova also stated that she personally didn’t have a problem with this or any other bear riding in cars.
The Yekaterinburg Zoo and others have also denied any knowledge of the animal. So, basically, it seems that some guy in Russia has a pet bear that loves road trips – which would really be handy if Yekaterinburg had carpool lanes.