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>>

  • China reports deadly attack in northwest

    China reports deadly attack in northwest

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:37 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:37:14 GMT
    A mob armed with knives rampaged through part of China's volatile northwestern region of Xinjiang and police responded with gunfire, leaving dozens of people dead in the latest violence blamed on Islamic...More >>
    A mob armed with knives and axes rampaged through part of China's volatile northwestern region of Xinjiang and police responded with gunfire, leaving dozens of people dead in the latest violence blamed Islamic...More >>
  • China: Ex-security czar Zhou under investigation

    China: Ex-security czar Zhou under investigation

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:17 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:17:27 GMT
    China's Communist Party says it has launched an investigation into a former domestic security chief who was once among the country's most feared leaders.More >>
    China's ruling Communist Party announced an investigation into a feared ex-security chief, demonstrating President Xi Jinping's firm grip on power and breaking a longstanding taboo against publicly targeting the...More >>
  • US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

    US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:53:08 GMT
    European Union ambassadors are meeting to discuss a dramatic toughening of the trade bloc's sanctions against Russia.More >>
    Spurred to action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks....More >>