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Legal Fight Begins To Send Alcoholic Bears To Rehab… Only In Russia

This is the sad tale of the caged 'restaurant bears' that were fed regular alcohol from tourists...

One of the two 'alcoholic' bears being held in shocking conditions in a Sochi restaurant Photo: Big Heart Foundation
One of the two ‘alcoholic’ bears being held in shocking conditions in a Sochi restaurant     Photo: Big Heart Foundation

A lot can be said about the binge drinking culture in modern Britain, but it turns out that the problem is virtually non-existent compared to that of Russia – where not only humans, but bears have been drinking a bit too much of the sauce.

That’s right, a legal battle is currently underway to send a couple of Russian bears to a rehab centre in Romania, after it was claimed that the animals, who have been caged outside a restaurant in Sochi for the past 20 years, have become alcoholics.

The story is absolutely shocking all in all, and it doesn’t make for pleasant reading for any animal rights activists – especially when it’s noted that the bears have been so poorly treated that one of them is now entirely blind.

The fact that these bears have been caged up outside a restaurant for the past two decades, in a city deemed fit enough to host the 2014 Winter Olympics no less, is pretty damn awful.

When you then take the fact that the owner of the restaurant, Dzhenkis Uzaroshvili, chose to defend himself by insisting that alcohol is good for the bears because of the cold climate, the farcical situation only gets worse.

Indeed, the defence have gone as far as challenging the release of the bears this week, despite photographic evidence and an incredibly demoralising YouTube video, below, showing the duo locked in a rusty, small, poorly kept enclosure going viral on the internet this week.

The Big Hearts Foundation has also claimed that the animal’s cage is littered with garbage, broken glass and rot.

Rumour has it that diners at the restaurant would regularly give the bears alcohol (because apparently they think it’s a good idea to give a giant, dangerous, deprived bear some vodka), but now the animals may have a brighter future ahead of them in the Liberty bear sanctuary in Romania.

The sanctuary has one and a half acres of forest, with a water pool, a den and oak trees to help the bears thrive. I certainly know where I’d rather be living if I was one of the couple.

The move is expected to take place despite the challenge, but they will need to find a place for the bears to stay before their move to Romania, with local zoos bizarrely refusing to help out.

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