MOSCOW, December 28 /TASS/. Investigators have initiated criminal proceedings over the death of a wild bear in Yakutia that was brutally killed by rotation workers, the press service of the Russian Investigative Committee’s branch for Yakutia said on Wednesday.
"Prosecutors have initiated criminal proceedings into signs of animal cruelty based on the actions committed by a group of individuals, who collaborated in using sadistic methods, which maimed the animal and eventually led to its death," the investigators said.
A video, which was circulated on the Internet on December 27, showed a group of rotation workers ruthlessly running over a wild bear with a truck.
Investigators have established that the trucks, used in chasing down the bear, belong to an organization, which researches the reproduction of Yakutia’s mineral resource base.
"The video shows a group of rotation workers who work in the territory of the Bulunsky District. Detectives have uncovered and inspected the vehicles," the Investigative Committee said.
The investigators will furnish their legal assessment of the individuals’ actions regarding the bear killing incident.
Nikolai Dodokhov, head of the hunting department of the Yakutian Ministry of Environmental Protection, told TASS on Tuesday that the rotation workers could face up to 12 months behind bars if proven guilty.
Russia’s Administrative Code stipulates a fine anywhere in the range of 100,000 rubles ($1,644) to 300,000 rubles ($4,932), or a fine with a price tag equaling the perpetrator’s salary or any other income for a period from 12 months to 2 years. The suspects can also be sentenced to 480 hours of community service or forced labor for a period of up to 2 years or spend 2 years in jail.