YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, August 25. /TASS/. The governor of the Sakhalin region, Russia’s Far East, Oleg Kozhemyako, has ordered to find and help the bear, who was abused by SUV drivers on the Kuril island of Iturup, his press service said on Tuesday.
Local forestry and hunting officials have been ordered to locate the bear and give him veterinary aid if necessary, the press service said adding that Kozhemyako took "under personal control" the investigation of the incident.
Police opened an animal cruelty probe 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 himself free, men from another car who were making the footage said they had been chasing the bear and overran him for eight times.
One of the men proposed stabbing the bear but the animal managed to get free after tearing the Pajero tire.
The suspects were detained last week and are facing up to two years in prison if convicted.