March 17, 2006

Activist in Bear Suit Detained During Queen’s Visit

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore police briefly detained an Australian animal activist dressed in a bear suit on Friday after she staged a protest during the Queen's official visit to the city-state.

The woman, who belongs to the group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), displayed a sign reading "God Save the Bears" at the Singapore president's palace.

Jodi Ruckley was protesting against the use of Canadian black bear pelts for the ceremonial hats used by the Queen's guards at Buckingham Palace.

"I only got to stay there for about five minutes until the police came and dragged me away. I didn't get to see the Queen, unfortunately," Ruckley, 33, told Reuters after her release.

The queen arrived in Singapore on Thursday night for a three-day visit on her way home from Australia where she opened the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

Ruckley, who said she had seen the queen twice during similar protests in Canada and Britain, was released after a few hours.