Bears who spent 10 years almost drowning in a tiny cage finally take 1st steps to freedom
Their cages would flood so badly, they would nearly drown.
Jenny Brown

For an entire decade, two brown bears named Misha and Dasha were imprisoned in a tiny cage in an Armenian restaurant.

The two served as tourist attractions, and they spent their days pacing back and forth, trying to relieve their boredom.

They would often bang their heads against the cage or climb the bars — anything to bring a little joy into their lives.

Facebook - International Animal Rescue
Facebook - International Animal Rescue

To make things worse, the cage was located right on a riverbank, and their cage often flooded.

Once, the water rose so high the poor bears almost drowned.

“A few years back, the river flooded and the bears almost drowned,” Lis Key, PR and communications manager for International Animal Rescue, told The Dodo.

“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.”

Facebook - International Animal Rescue
Facebook - International Animal Rescue

For years, International Animal Rescue (IAR) tried to save these two bears.

Finally, IAR and the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) convinced the restaurant owners to release the bears into their care.

IAR’s rescue team cut through the metal cage’s bars and freed the two bears.

They sedated the bears and brought them to their mountainside sanctuary, where they would finally have the freedom to roam and follow their instincts.

Soon after arriving at the sanctuary, Misha and Dasha went into a cave to hibernate for winter.

And when they emerged in the spring, they weren’t alone.

Dasha had given birth to two happy and healthy cubs.

Dasha’s rescuers hadn’t even known she was pregnant when she went to hibernate, so they were shocked and elated.

Dasha had been through so much, and now, she finally had a family of her own.

“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,” Vicky Mkrtchyan, environmental projects coordinator for FPWC, told The Dodo.

YouTube Screenshot - International Animal Rescue IAR
YouTube Screenshot - International Animal Rescue IAR

The cubs are doing great!

Dasha is a wonderful mom who always carefully monitors her two young cubs.

“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,” Mkrtchyan said.

“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.”

Dasha and Misha went through so much, but now, they’re finally in a safe place to enjoy their lives and freedom.

YouTube Screenshot
YouTube Screenshot

We’re so glad Dasha and her cubs are doing so well, and we can’t wait to watch them grow up. What a good ending!

Check out a video about Dasha’s rescue below.

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