We are responsible for those we tame. Is there anyone in the world who does not think so? There are many. Here is a proof to that. The police of Russia's Yakutia republic are searching for the perpetrators, who hijacked a circus bus with animals and set the bus on fire. A female bear and pigeons burned in the bus alive. The animals were killed by two-legged beasts.
The tragedy occurred on Popovsky Island near Yakutsk. The Ukrainian "Arena Circus", which was on tour in Yakutia, lost many of its animal artists in the fire. Investigators believe that it goes about a premeditated crime. The head of the republic's Internal Affairs Department took the investigation under his personal control.
It is not the first incident, when circus animals die in Yakutia. In December of 2009, eight tigers and a lioness of "Mechta Circus" from Krasnodar died when being transported in a refrigerator. The animals suffocated in the sealed cage. In Yakutsk (the capital of Yakutia), the animals were supposed to take part in New Year circus shows. The shows were canceled.
In January of 2010, the Internal Affairs Department of Yakutia refused to file a criminal case into "cruelty to animals." State Duma deputies had to interfere - they bombarded the Prosecutor General with angered letters.
Twelve exotic animals died in a private-owned zoo in Russia's Krasnoyarsk this winter. A crocodile, monkeys, mongooses, toads, pythons and a toucan simply froze to death. No one has been called into criminal account for their deaths.
A similar piece of news has recently shocked residents of St. Petersburg - the city known as Russia's northern capital. Fifteen animal species were killed in a fire at a tent circus. The fire broke out in the circus extension, where people could visit an exhibition of small animals. A snake, a skunk, two ferrets, two iguanas, four chinchillas, 23 parrots and ten rabbits died terrible deaths because of the heaters that had been installed in the area for their comfort.
All animals of Russia's Rosgortsirk (Russian State Circus) died several years ago in Mumbai, India, as a result of a fierce fire that broke out in their cages. It was later determined that the fire broke out because of short circuit in the wiring system. The Indian tour promoters failed to pay to the Russian circus and simply disappeared. The Russian Embassy in India demanded investigation be conducted into the accident, but no one has been punished either.
Many animal killers in Russia avoid criminal persecution and punishment. Igor Shmidt, a lawyer, told Pravda.Ru that such a sad situation becomes possible because of the imperfection of Russian laws.
"Unfortunately, according to the Russian civil law, animals are equated to things - possessions, owned by either a natural person or a legal entity. Article 245 of the Penal Code of the Russian Federation stipulates a prison term of up to two years and financial penalties for animal abuse. However, in practical terms, such penalties are applied rarely," the lawyer said.