This is the controversial moment a black-belt fighter enjoys what he says is a friendly tussle with a huge bear he helped to rescue as a cub.
The play-fight was filmed in the city of Perm in the western Russian region of Perm Krai when sportsman Andrey Sitnikov went to visit the bear at a friend’s house.
Andrey and his pals found the bear when it was around three months old.
He said: “The cub was starving, in a bad state and seemed really scared.
“We gave it accommodation and called a vet to check up on it regularly.”
Andrey said the bear is now three years old and only lets people who knew it as a cub play with it.
The bear is seen play-fighting with its rescuer in its enclosure in the clip and seems to let its smaller rival win the bout.
Andrey posted the video on his Instagram page where it has been viewed 170,000 times in one day.
But many people criticised the footge in the comments like ‘Nastasya K.’ who said: “This is so sad to look at the animal here.”
And Netizen named ‘Alexander B.’ wrote: “This is a huge stress for the bear. How stupid this man is. He jumped to a pet bear to train with. If you want real trainings – go to forest. This is nothing else but a circus.”
And Netizen named ‘Evgheny O.’ commented with: “This guy won’t have a single chance of survival if the bear gets angry.”
Andrey, who practises judo and the Soviet martial art Sambo, accompanied the video with the message: “The year I planned to take part in a judo and Sambo championship, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
“Despite that, training hasn’t stopped and I continue to spar with Potapych (the bear).”
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Story By: Gheorghi Caraseni, Sub Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
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