Police are investigating starlet Lera Izumrud for animal cruelty and endangering a child
Moscow Region prosecutors announced on Monday they are investigating social media star Lena Izumrud, real name Valeria Tatarintseva, over videos that showed her leading a muzzled bear into her apartment block to entertain her one-year-old son Mark.
The investigation will probe Tatarintseva for potential animal mistreatment and child endangerment offenses.
In a series of videos posted to her TikTok account but since deleted, Tatarintseva the beast through the streets of the suburb of Mytishchi and into her apartment.
"Finally, the day has come! Today, a real bear in my house!" she exclaims. "I can't believe that! He's so cool and kind!... let's look at Mark's reaction, I hope he likes it!"
Once inside, Tatarintseva hugs the bear as the 200kg creature rolls around on its back and mouths her arms, claws inches from the vlogger's face.
The video gained hundreds of thousands of views, but also attracted the attention of law enforcement, as well as her neighbors. "This is a wild animal, it does not belong in an apartment building," one neighbor told KP.ru. "If something provokes the animal, it could lead to terrible consequences."
With an investigation looming and TikTok deleting her videos, a tearful Tatarinseva took to the video-sharing platform to express remorse that she couldn't give her viewers what they wanted, which was apparently videos of the bear making itself at home in the apartment.
"Guys, sorry for my tears. I'm just very upset. I promised you to bring a bear to my home, and I delivered. I put the video on TikTok, it scored 700K views and then the counter stopped," she said, claiming that the videos had been marked as "dangerous" by TikTok and hidden for all but her most "active" subscribers.