Breaking News

Albania’s very last ‘restaurant bear’ is finally at a sanctuary


Immediately after about 20 yrs in captivity, Mark, the previous of Albania’s “restaurant bears,” has properly arrived at his new house, an animal sanctuary in Austria, in accordance to the animal rescue group 4 Paws Global.

So-identified as “restaurant bears” have traditionally been held in small cages close to dining establishments or hotels, where they served as an attraction for visitors, according to Four Paws. In 2016, the nonprofit launched the “Saddest Bears” marketing campaign in an energy to relocate the additional than 30 bears remaining made use of as leisure in the region.

Mark, a 24-12 months old brown bear, is the very last identified “restaurant bear” in Albania, according to a news release from Four Paws, despite the fact that there are other bears in captivity in inadequate instances in the place. He was rescued on December 7 and arrived at his new home, “BEAR SANCTUARY Arbesbach” in Austria on Friday.

Animal welfare activists move Mark from his cage in Tirana, Albania, on Dec. 7, 2022.

When Four Paws very first encountered Mark, the animal was struggling from serious health and fitness complications. He was overweight, experienced damaged teeth and exhibited “abnormal” behaviors like pacing because of to the absence of stimulation in his cramped cage, Four Paws reported in a prior news launch.

The bear embarked on a 44-hour journey to his new residence, according to the corporation. He traveled via North Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary before ultimately reaching the sanctuary.

But he was “calm and relaxed” all through the trek, in accordance to 4 Paws.

“We produced regular stops for our accompanying vet to check on him and fed him with fruits and vegetables,” Magdalena Scherk-Trettin, who coordinates Four Paws’ wild animal rescue and advocacy jobs, explained in the release. “After acquiring an inappropriate diet plan of cafe leftovers and largely bread for two decades, he was a little reluctant about the greens, but munched fortunately on the grapes we gave him.”

Mark was slow to examine his snowy new habitat, in accordance to Four Paws. He hadn’t stepped outdoors a cage in more than twenty a long time. He’ll remain in a smaller outside enclosure for the time being until he adjusts to his new surroundings and moves to a bigger enclosure.

The sanctuary in Arbesbach has operated due to the fact 1988, according to its internet site. Mark will join three other rescued grizzly bears who reside on 14,000 sq. meters of “natural environment.”

“With Mark’s rescue we ended the cruel observe of maintaining him subsequent to a cafe to draw in and entertain website visitors,” Four Paws’ president Josef Pfabigan claimed in the release. “We are now one particular stage closer to a earth where people deal with animals with respect, empathy and comprehension.”