Video of ‘bear-dog’ battle sparks controversy

Video shows rubber rug being snatched by cub in Norway town but it loses grip and cartwheels through doorway A bear cub defending its turf lost its reindeer plastic toy during a mock bear-dog…

Video of 'bear-dog' battle sparks controversy

Video shows rubber rug being snatched by cub in Norway town but it loses grip and cartwheels through doorway

A bear cub defending its turf lost its reindeer plastic toy during a mock bear-dog fight but lost its appetite when it thought it had won.

In the video posted on the LiveLeak social media platform, several people stand around a mock cottage, portraying blustery winds blowing snow from the window.

Just as the reindeer toys go up into the air, one of the men spots a cub in a tree. He tries to grab it by pulling the rope holding the toy but is unsuccessful.

The man’s friend takes the spiky cub from the tree, and it clambers up a ladder and joins the fight to the beat of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. The video ends with the cub dragging its rival away.

A spokesperson for Statoil, the Norwegian oil and gas company that set up the event, said the event was not intended as a contest but to demonstrate how animals were used in drilling.

Wildlife activists have criticised the event. Christen Varka Rønning from the Norway branch of Oceana criticised the company for the way they handled the animals and for its possible impact on children.

“The fact that they throw the cub around, that it is actually alive, is very confusing to children,” he said.

Norway has an annual bear hunt in which up to 300 bears are killed each year. In September, a cub was killed when researchers deployed a remote camera to capture more images of the family living on a nature reserve in western Norway.

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