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Animal rights campaigners in Russia are furious after a circus allegedly attached hamsters to balloons and dropped them down to children in the audience as ‘live gifts’.
The rodents were apparently dead by the time they reached the crowd below, leaving the children in the audience ‘acutely distressed’.
Some parents have complained the animals were placed inside bottles and thrown into the audience and, in some cases, rats were used instead of hamsters.
The circus, based in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, takes this controversial act all over Russia, according to the Siberian Times.
34,000 animal lovers have so far signed a petition calling for them to stop using hamsters in such a way.
Olga McManaman, who organised the petition, said: ‘I invite all animal lovers and caring people to protest against this outrageous practice of inhumane animal treatment.’
The animal rights campaigner from Siberia has urged people not to donate hamsters to the circus because they will be mistreated.