YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, August 20. /TASS/. Police in the Sakhalin region, Russia’s Far East, have detained the three locals, suspected of overrunning a brown bear with their car, a regional police spokesman told TASS on Thursday.
"The suspects have been identified and detained. The fact of animal cruelty has been confirmed," the spokesman said.
Under the Russian legislation, they are facing up to two years in prison if convicted.
Police opened an investigation into the animal cruelty case after a video of a brown bear overrun by an off-road vehicle was published online on August 19. The smartphone footage features the three-year old bear whose paw stuck under the wheel of a Mitsubishi Pajero. While the animal was trying to set itself free, men from another car who were making the footage said they had been chasing the bear and overran him eight times.
One of the men proposed stabbing the bear but the animal managed to get free after tearing the Pajero tire.