Moscow zoo's most popular polar bear has been the victim of a multiple-gunshot attack, the zoo said on Saturday. 20-year-old Wrangle, whom the zoo acquired as a cub off the Arctic Ocean's Wrangle Island in 1991, came under attack from a small-calibre gun, the zoo said in a statement.
The father of two cubs, Wrangle usually stays out of sight in an enclosure but can be seen from a high-rise apartment building opposite the zoo, the statement said. "We are deeply outraged by the behaviour of people who committed this despicable act," the zoo said.
"Perhaps the 'sniper' feels proud about what he did. But where is the heroism in shooting at a defenceless animal from a safe location?"
The bear now faced the threat of infection, the statement added. The zoo identified Wrangle as "one of the kindest bears at the zoo," which was founded in 1864 and is Russia's oldest.