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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

We have rescued two bears from an alabaster factory in Armenia

As part of the Great Bear Rescue campaign in Armenia we recently rescued two brown bears from a cage in an alabaster factory.

Undercover footage taken several years ago shows the pair still as young cubs, desperately trying to reach their distraught mother who has been moved into a cage apart from them. Their mother is seen clawing frantically at the separating door and climbing up the bars of the cage in an attempt to reach them.

Four years on, when we went to rescue the bears, tragically the mother was no longer with them, having apparently been sold by the factory owner. However, we were at least able to rescue the cubs from their miserable existence and take them into quarantine for assessment and health checks – the first step on their journey to a new life.

The Great Bear Rescue campaign, launched at the end of September by IAR and local Armenian organization FPWC (Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets), aims to rescue and rehabilitate all the caged bears in Armenia and give them the care and the life they deserve. We are carrying out the rescues with the support of the Armenian government on behalf of Armenia’s Ministry of Nature Protection, RA Environmental Inspectorate and the practical assistance of the emergency rescue services (Ministry of Emergency Situations.)

Alan Knight OBE, IAR Chief Executive, said: “These poor bears have never felt the warmth of the sun on their backs or sniffed a cool mountain breeze. They have spent their entire lives behind bars, pacing back and forth on a hard concrete floor. But at long last we can change that and work to give them a life worth living.”

Ruben Khachatryan of FPWC said: “We’re delighted to have rescued these two bears from the factory. However, there are still many other bears in urgent need of our attention. We are keeping focused on the job in hand and trying to reach as many caged bears as possible, as soon as we possibly can. With all these sad cases we have now, I hope people realise that it’s not fun to see a bear kept in a cage in a restaurant or resort because this is just not the place where they belong.”