While many zoos treat their animals with dignity and respect, there are also times when the animals are neglected in the worst way, and that was the case with Dasha the bear. Dasha is a brown bear and she spent 10 painful years in a cramped cage. Misha, her mate, was with her and they spent a miserable life alone in their cage at a restaurant in Yerevan, Armenia, to entertain guests. Even worse, much of their enclosure was flooded.
Fortunately, International Animal Rescue (IAR) was there to help. With the help of the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC), they talked to the owners of the restaurant and talked them into letting the bears out of their cage. Once these organizations got involved, the bears were moved to a sanctuary in the mountains.
Dasha was in a good situation but something else happened that made it even more amazing. Not long ago, she came out from her hibernation den with a surprise. During the winter, she had cubs! It seems weird, but bears giving birth during hibernation is pretty common.
Vicky Mkrtchyan, coordinator for FPWC said, “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.” The bears will stay with mama for a season, and next year, they will all be evaluated to see if they can go into the wild.
(Image Credit: IAR via The Dodo)
“It was already uplifting to see Dasha freed from the barren cage by the river and start to take an interest in life and in her surroundings. Now, seeing her with her two little cubs is simply beautiful. It is so moving to reflect on her miserable life behind bars and then look at her now – a natural mother caring for her cubs, protecting them fiercely from the outside world.”
While Dasha’s life got off to a rocky start, it’s amazing that she can now start a new chapter (and with a bang, we might add)! Be sure to share her rescue story with all the animal lovers you know.