Twitter / Peter Staunton
  • The World Cup in Russia is just one day old and it's already getting weird.
  • Shortly after Russia obliterated Saudi Arabia in the opening match, a bear in a jeep was filmed being driven through the Moscow streets.
  • The bear has been accused of making antisemitic gestures.
  • It is unclear how the bear was trained to be so tame around humans, to blow on a vuvuzela, and to make the gesture — but bear training is common in Russia.

The 2018 World Cup is only one day old and it's already gotten weird.

Host country Russia annihilated Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the tournament's opening match on Thursday but one of the main talking points arrived after the game when a bear in a Jeep was driven through Moscow's streets.

READ: This is how Russia’s sad World Cup opening compared with SA’s 2010 spectacular

The bear appears to be blowing a vuvuzela, a plastic horn that was a staple at the 2018 World Cup in South Africa and sounds like a swarm of bees.

The bear then seemingly gives a "quenelle salute," an antisemitic gesture, before the jeep drives off and the video ends.

The video was sent to chief correspondent Peter Staunton, who confirms the clip's authenticity and that the bear is real and not simply a man in a bear suit.

Watch the vuvuzela-playing bear below.

The video has dark undertones. This is because the "quenelle," a salute that went viral in France over five years ago, is associated with racism, antisemitism, and regarded as an inverted Nazi salute.

The quenelle even has historic links to soccer, as former France striker Nicolas Anelka used the gesture during a match in England whilst playing for West Bromwich Albion in 2013.

How the bear was trained to blow on a vuvuzela and make the gesture is unclear. However, bear taming is common in Russia.

Earlier this year, a muzzled bear was brought onto a soccer pitch and made to perform before a league game. It was widely condemned by animal rights groups who said the bear "belonged in the wild" and not "rented out as a mascot."

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