Bears on tightropes a big draw in Russian circus - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Circus features four-legged acrobats on high wire

Posted: Updated:
The head of this circus said he saw no distinction between the ability of the bears and the ability of humans. (Source: RTV/CBS) The head of this circus said he saw no distinction between the ability of the bears and the ability of humans. (Source: RTV/CBS)

ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA (RTV/CBS) – Five members of a circus group have gotten a lot of attention because what they do is literally unhuman.

The "Mamba-Karamba" features a nautical-themed, high-wire performance that includes five brown bears trained to perform on tightropes.

Troupe leader Alexander Ivanov said his bears were unique in their ability.

"I don't make a delineation between bears and performers," Ivanov said. "There's just one team, as you see at the performance. We have sailors, bear sailors wearing sailor shirts and pants, and people acting as sailors, and we have an adventure of our own. We go sailing on the sea. And there are lots of adventurous things happening in the ring when we are performing."

Ivanov inherited the idea of bear rope walkers and the troupe from his father Mikhail, a renowned star during the era of the Soviet Union.

At rehearsals, the bears and their human colleagues work on routines, polishing their performance for the big night.

Tightrope walker Yevgenia Nuyanzina said she enjoyed working with the bears. Some of them actually learned to tightrope walk quickly.

"It depends on the rehearsal process," Nuyanzina said. "Some people, in fact, learn quickly. And it's the same with bears. We have some who learn quickly to walk on the tightrope. It depends on the people, I think."

Copyright 2013 RTV via CBS. All rights reserved.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Relatives fly to Taiwan plane crash site, 48 dead

    Relatives fly to Taiwan plane crash site, 48 dead

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:24:13 GMT
    A plane making a second landing attempt in stormy weather crashed at an airport on a small Taiwanese island late Wednesday, killing 51 people and injuring seven, fire officials said.More >>
    Family members of victims of a plane crash were flying Thursday to the small Taiwanese island where the plane had unsuccessfully attempted to land in stormy weather, killing 48 people. There were 10 survivors.More >>
  • Honduran families deported back to a bleak future

    Honduran families deported back to a bleak future

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:44 PM EDT2014-07-23 23:44:48 GMT
    Elsa Ramirez already had lost two brothers to violence in this remote Caribbean region when co-workers handling clandestine cocaine flights from South America murdered her husband four months ago.More >>
    Elsa Ramirez already had lost two brothers to violence in this remote Caribbean region when co-workers handling clandestine cocaine flights from South America murdered her husband four months ago.More >>
  • European carriers suspend more Tel Aviv flights

    European carriers suspend more Tel Aviv flights

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:43:21 GMT
    Germany's largest airline, Lufthansa, says it is cancelling all flights to Tel Aviv for at least another 24 hours because of ongoing safety concerns.More >>
    Air France and Germany's two largest airlines on Wednesday canceled more flights to Tel Aviv because of safety concerns amid the fighting between Israel and Hamas.More >>