Mark Frauenfelder at 11:59 am Wed, Dec 9, 2009
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The referees are letting these hockey playing bears commit a lot of fouls. Not one was sent to the penalty box.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His latest book is Made by Hand: My Adventures in the World of DIY
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The only thing that prevents me from declaring this to be very obviously fake is that I’m not sure how you could possibly go about faking it. Are they dudes in bear suits? If so, I’m equally impressed!
If I were reffing, I don’t think I’d call any penalties either…
To the skeptics…
If you were a bear, you’d learn to skate and play hockey too if every time you messed up, you got a cattle prod up your keester.
I can’t imagine they were trained in anything close to a humane way.
aw, poor bears. they should be curled up in a dark cave, snoozing the winter away. on another note, they are much better players than some of the NHL teams this year…
As a kid I was taken to see a circus which had real boxing kangaroos. They didn’t just box with each other, there were people in the ring punching the shit out of them as well. I’ll never forget the sight of those poor blood-spattered kangaroos, it was one of the cruellest things I’ve ever seen. Top quality children’s entertainment.
That referee is either very brave or very stupid. Although it’ll be a good show, no matter what the bears decide is for lunch.
Interesting that there is no glass / plexiglas wall around the rink. You only need that for human hockey players, apparently, not FRIGGIN’ BEARS!
It’s blindingly obvious these are people in bear costumes. For one thing, bears don’t have feet small enough to fit in those skates.
I feel so unbelievably sorry for these bears.
Yes it’s cruel. And yes it’s interesting, even amusing in its sad way. Maybe that’s a good reason to post this stuff, to make you think about what’s going on out there. And at least nobody’s eating live bears off a plate, eh?
el duderino wrote: “And at least nobody’s eating live bears off a plate, eh?”
While the suffering of that fish is inexcusable, the bears will suffer far more throughout their lives because they will be forced to engage in these activities repeatedly. They have no means of escape and if they fail to “perform” as required will be subjected to the abuse already mentioned by others.
I fail to understand how Mr. Frauenfelder can view animal cruelty as an opportunity for ridicule.
I actually went to a circus in Southern Russia while studying abroad there and witnessed trained bears doing some pretty wild things including riding bikes, balancing and running on large balls, etc. It was quite hilarious for the first 5 seconds until I realized the kind of abuse the trainers likely inflicted on the animals to ‘motivate’ them. My emotions went from humored to shocked to appalled to angry that my money had funded the aberrations.
This is an actual picture my friend took during the show.
Christ I’m glad i don’t live in Russia – is it still really the middle ages there?
Yeah, I hear they’re bearly civilized. ;D
These would be the Bruins then?
Can we mention the people trying to save the circus bears please?
mind. blown. These bears play better than some of the humans I’ve played hockey with over the years.
How many times did these poor bears have to get shocked in order for them to learn how to effectively cycle the puck? I’m at once impressed and horrified.
Even if that was the original intent of this posting (which I doubt given the caption that accompanies it). But based on the majority of responses that follow this posting, I’d say all it’s succeeded in doing is in extending the audience for which the bears are forced to perform.
Definitely not for ethical police online, but discretion and consciousness are to be admired.
This is appalling. Think about what kind of torture these bears had to go through just to learn how to do this….just so we can be entertained. Disgusting.
Hmm. Yeah. Can’t seem to edit that post and really wish I could. That’s what happens when you spend your day writing. You forget how.
Well, I think it makes the point.
The Soviets were so good at hockey, _everyone_ played.
Simply depressing to watch. Now, if this was out in the wild and the bears had somehow organized a hockey game on their own, it would be the coolest thing ever.
My husband saw these bears (or other similar ones) when he was a kid in Manitoba. For a long time I would not believe him and insisted that, as a kid, he must have been duped. Bears skating? Playing hockey? No way. Apparently he was right… Poor bears :( It reminds me of those postcard images that were pervasive in the early 70′s of kittens dressed up like people and standing on their hind legs. They were cute until you thought about it, then the image was upsetting.
One day Bears will obtain full conscience and become as sentient as humans. When that happens and they look back at their treatment on earth , you’ll hope to be living far away from bear territory.
One of Gorbechev’s lesser-known reforms, historians debate to what extent the fall of the USSR can be tied to this initiative, known as Bearestroika.
Those bears have awful small paws…..Or maybe they don’t have paws??
i don’t get this at all…why would anyone feel the need to prove that bears could be made to look as stupid as humans?
This is just terrible…
Their goalie is just standing there!
Am I the only one who remembers the fantastic bear suits in that frozen fish commercial from about ten years ago? The one where there are very real looking bears milling about the edge of a stream to the screaming fisherman runs in and fights the bears to get their fish. The one where the ‘bear’ rears up and they fight rather Three Stooges like until the fisherman kicks the bear in the balls?
These could easily and most likely just be dudes in suits for this. There’s likely real bears doing other things in this circus, but skating on ice? I call shenanigans.
These are real bears.. It’s really cruel to these animals and I’m sure they were abused daily in order to learn these skills. Really sad video, not funny at all.
bears are incredibly smart, agile, and adaptable. i’m no grizzly man, but i’ve lived in bear country all my life and seen these animals do some amazing things.
anyone who thinks humans are the ‘top’ species, by any metric, does not know much about bears. this is why i always roll my eyes when ppl get uppity about ‘saving the polar bears’ wrt climate change.
bears don’t need saving. those cunning fuckers will be around long after we’re gone. they have adapted for success.
bears are incredibly smart, agile, and adaptable.
Did you not see the goalies?
peta should have a seriou chat with them but this tape looks older, this wouldnt fly in the states today
i wannna know who puts the skates on the bears.
I honestly though I had seen it al…
What… the… fuck… ????? Is this real??
i think that is MEAN to the bears
yo… where’s the ethics? everyone is so interested in how amazing it is and only two mentioned the related cruelty that led to the outcome – you need to research bear training and treatment in Russia…
and save your ‘gtron, why do you hate…’
what really f***s up the potential of the internet’s possibilites that you all are always goin on about is that there’s no possibility of an ethical police – you (a top blog in the world) can put that up, make a lot of fun with it, sell advertising as a result of page views of it (profiteering from the mistreatment of animals), and no one can do or does anything – and you’ll blow me off as a troll or not even post my comment…
yea!!! the internetz!!!
You complain a lot. Maybe BB isn’t the right blog for you.
Those bears are impressively good on skates, all things considered.
I tend to suspect it’s a bit fake, if only because bears can’t support themselves on two legs THAT well, and because they lack opposable thumbs, and have short little fingers/claws, so ought to have a rough time handling the hockey sticks.
Oh it’s real. They don’t need thumbs because the gloves/sticks are taped to their paws. They’re part of a Russian circus. You may have heard about the ice-skating bear that killed it’s trainer: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/10/23/russia.skating.bear.death/index.html
…it was part of one of these traveling bear hockey shows.
From what I’ve read, the animals are often mistreated if not outright abused.
hahaha… like it’s straight out of The Onion:
It is unclear what caused the bear to attack Potapov, 25, nearly severing one of his legs while dragging him across the ice by his neck.
I’m ashamed. Seriously.
Will join @22 Lookforthewoman in mentioning http://www.savethebears.co.uk/circus-bears.shtml
Finally! Something to do with all these bears.
Mind bending! Those bears are SMART. Wow. My visual processor confirms that this is real. If it is indeed fake, the SFX are Oscar–nay, Nobel worthy. Fire the lame goalies, though. Sheesh.
katw: One wonders whether the sticks taped on or otherwise attached.
A bit of googling found this blog post from earlier this year with more supporting evidence for this being real:
Hmm, in that case… if some crazed animal activists decided to release 20 wild, fully clawed, hungry bears into the stands I’m not sure if I would be terrified or amused at the ensuing pandamonium.
This would be the Ursine Corny Chaser for magnetfinger.
I find bears fascinating because they have primate-level intelligence and are not primates. Freaky!
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