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Man caught smuggling bear

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Customs officers catch people trying to smuggle strange things every day, but it’s not every day they intercept a man smuggling a bear!

Officers in Russia caught a man trying to smuggle 'Kesha', an elderly and endangered bear, hidden under a blanket between two seats in the his van.

Owner Anatoly Kolodenko and the bear were detained, with officials saying he had not declared the animal and did not have the right papers.

Kolodenko said he was a circus performer returning home to Crimea. He explained he and Kesha had performed around the world together.

"There are situations where people exploit animals for money - but I have no commercial interests.

"They have been telling me I have to euthanize her. But I can't do it. I can't kill my own child."

Kesha's fate is yet undecided. She may end up in a zoo as with previous smuggling cases.

Russian circuses continue to use bears as entertainment often forcing them to dance or ice skate to please the crowds.

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