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>>

  • Tim Hortons a big part of Canadian identity

    Tim Hortons a big part of Canadian identity

    Thursday, August 28 2014 3:18 AM EDT2014-08-28 07:18:30 GMT
    Few things unite Canadians the way Tim Hortons does. For half a century, they have warmed themselves on chilly mornings with the chain's coffee and Timbits - or doughnut holes to Americans.More >>
    Few things unite Canadians the way Tim Hortons does. For half a century, they have warmed themselves on chilly mornings with the chain's coffee and Timbits - or doughnut holes to Americans.More >>
  • A flavor out of favor: Dog meat fades in S. Korea

    A flavor out of favor: Dog meat fades in S. Korea

    Thursday, August 28 2014 3:12 AM EDT2014-08-28 07:12:33 GMT
    For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat.More >>
    For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat.More >>
  • Undersea search for Malaysian plane refined

    Undersea search for Malaysian plane refined

    Thursday, August 28 2014 2:58 AM EDT2014-08-28 06:58:51 GMT
    The search area for a missing Malaysian airliner in the southern Indian Ocean has been refined based on the latest analysis, while the investigation into how the plane came to crash cannot proceed until the...More >>
    The search area for a missing Malaysian airliner in the southern Indian Ocean has been refined based on the latest analysis, while the investigation into how the plane came to crash cannot proceed until the wreckage and...More >>