The 41-year-old BBC Breakfast presenter shared a clip from a Russian programme which showed a bear performing stunts whilst wearing a muzzle and a football shirt.
The animal could be seen carrying footballs over to barrels emblazoned with different countries’ flags in order to predict the outcome of games.
“The Russian equivalent of @BBCBreakfast has a massive bear, dressed in a football kit, predicting the results of matches,” Dan tweeted, sharing the clip with his 513,000 followers.
He then added a bear emoji followed by a flushed face, saying: “I think he might be an #England fan.”
Dan came under fire from Twitter users who were quick to criticise him for sharing the video and for the tone of his tweet.
“That’s what you took from this?” one asked, while another said: “Your less than serious last line in the most shocking thing, absolutely horrific that this is seen as acceptable, and your levity is a serious misjudgement!”
“I’m glad you find this amusing @mrdanwalker. I’m sure that the cruelty this animal has and does suffer will not share your sense of fun,” a third blasted. “Why didn’t you report this as animal abuse and not a fun item?”
Dan soon responded to the backlash, insisting he did not find the video amusing or take the situation lightly.
He retweeted a message from a social media user who said: “This is NOT cool. NOT funny. NOT clever. The process of ‘breaking’ these animals is brutal. Absolutely criminal.”
“Please listen,” Dan posted. “I do NOT think this is cool, funny or clever. I do think it’s VILE. I do not think it should be ignored.
“I felt — perhaps foolishly — that it would be obvious I thought it was disgusting but I can see the reason for confusion from the tone. #SaveTheBear.”
“Also… if you feel that passionately about animal cruelty — with the greatest respect — do something about it because swearing at someone on Twitter doesn’t achieve anything,” he added. “Have a lovely day.”
He also shared a post from another person who said: “This is absolutely vile — what the hell were you thinking?”
“What was I thinking?” he replied. “I had nothing to do with it! It’s grim.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Channel One Russia asking for comment.
Meanwhile, tonight sees the England squad face Tunisia in their first match of the World Cup 2018 finals.
Harry Kane will be hoping to captain the team to victory almost 20 years to the day after England emerged victorious when the two teams went head-to-head in the 1998 tournament.
Earlier today, Jamie Vardy’s wife Becky spoke out about his mindset ahead of the match.
She told this week’s OK! Magazine her famous husband didn’t get nervous playing football, but admitted her nerves.
“The only time I get nervous is when he has to take a penalty,” she said. “It’s anxiety inducing and I’m always so relieved when he hits the back of the net.”