- Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev
Since, 2009, Katya, 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 in Russia say they receive only minimal care in their cramped and stinking cages.
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 teeth.
"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".
Any number of nations with animal protection laws will give these suffering creatures the home they deserve. Katya was the star of the 1980 Olympics in Russia and it is unconscionable and extremely cruel that she is being rewarded for her service by ending her days in absolute misery.
Please know that the world is watching and we join the animal rights activists inside of Russia in protesting this abject abuse and injustice towards animals.