For 10 long years, two brown bears named Misha and Dasha were stuck in a tiny cage in a restaurant located in Armenia. The two served as tourist attractions, and they went back and forth all day.
They often banged their heads against the cage or climbed the bars. They would do everything to try to bring a little joy into their lives.
To make matters worse, the cage was located right on the river bank and their cage often flooded. Once, the water rose so high that the poor bears almost drowned.
“A few years back, the river flooded and the bears almost drowned,” told Lis Key, PR and communications manager for International Animal Rescue. “As you can see from the rescue photos, the rescue team had to cut through the cages to release them, so they must have been trapped when the river flooded and in serious danger of drowning.”
The International Organization for Animal Rescue (IAR) has been trying to save these two bears for years.
Finally, in November 2017, IAR and the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) were able to convince the restaurant owners to release the bears to their care.
The IAR rescue team cut the bars of the metal cage and freed the two bears. They sedated the bears and brought them to their mountainside sanctuary, a place where they would finally have the freedom to roam and follow their natural instincts.
Soon after arriving at the sanctuary, Misha and Dasha went into a cave to hibernate for winter. And when they arrived in the spring of 2018, they weren’t alone.
Dasha gave birth to two happy and healthy cubs. Dashas rescuers hadn’t even know she was pregnant when she went to hibernate, and so they were shocked and delighted.
Dasha has gone through so much, and now she finally has her own family.
“She received all necessary care after being rescued, enough fruits, veggies, nuts and honey to gain weight and fat before hibernation … but nobody guessed her good appetite was a result of pregnancy,” told Vicky Mkrtchyan, environmental projects coordinator for FPWC.
The cubs are now two months old, and they’re doing great! Dasha is a wonderful mother who always carefully looks after her two little cubs.
Dasha and Misha have been through a lot, but now they are finally in a safe place where they can enjoy their life and their freedom.