Earlier this month, two brown bears, Masha and Girsha were relocated from the cramped quarters in a zoo in the Armenian town of Gyumri to the Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Romania, bringing to a happy end to more than six months of efforts to rescue them, according to Earth Island Journal.
The bears and three lions had been living a miserable life in captivity in a privately-owned zoo in Gyumri. The zoo had been featured in the British tabloid, Daily Mail, back in January as “the world’s saddest zoo.” The article, which went viral, said that the animals were starving and had been left to die by the owner who had abandoned the facility.
An absolutely wonderful place in Romania, Libearty Sanctuary, the largest brown bear sanctuary in Europe, agreed to provide homes for the bears. Just as critical, the Brigitte Bardot Foundation (BBF), France’s leading animal protection organization, agreed to fund the relocation of the bears.
In the following months individuals and organizations from Armenia (Yerevan and Gyumri), France, Spain, and Romania put together an impressive effort to rescue the Gyumri Zoo animals.