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>>

  • French prime minister wins confidence vote

    French prime minister wins confidence vote

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 1:22 PM EDT2014-09-16 17:22:20 GMT
    France's prime minister faces a confidence vote in a parliament increasingly frustrated with unpopular President Francois Hollande's handling of the economy - including dissidents within his Socialist Party.More >>
    French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has won a vote of confidence in a tense ballot, allowing him to push through economic reforms that have divided the left.More >>
  • Belgium grants jailed rapist, murderer euthanasia

    Belgium grants jailed rapist, murderer euthanasia

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 1:22 PM EDT2014-09-16 17:22:17 GMT
    A Belgian convicted of murder and rape who has been imprisoned for almost three decades has been granted the right to die after doctors agreed his psychological condition was incurable, an official said Tuesday.More >>
    A Belgian man convicted of murder and rape is being put to death. Yet the country doesn't have the death penalty. Confused? Authorities have granted a request for assisted suicide by the man, who says he's a menace...More >>
  • Weakening Odile pushes up Mexico's Baja California

    Weakening Odile pushes up Mexico's Baja California

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 1:22 PM EDT2014-09-16 17:22:13 GMT
    A weakening Tropical Storm Odile pushed up Mexico's Baja California Peninsula early Tuesday, dumping heavy rains that could bring dangerous flash floods and mudslides but also a potential boon to the...More >>
    A weakening Tropical Storm Odile pushed up Mexico's Baja California Peninsula on Tuesday, dumping heavy rains that could bring dangerous flash floods and mudslides but also a potential boon to the drought-stricken region.More >>