People who sat alongside a river at a restaurant in Armenia were used to witnessing two huge brown bears in cages during their meal. Misha and Dasha reportedly lived off scraps left by diners and had been in their steel prison for the best part of 10 years.

But an online campaign has seen them finally released.

Authorities descended on the area in the capital Yerevan, where they used power tools to break down the cage walls. The bears were sedated and transported to a new enclosure higher up in the mountains.Armenian Bears

Credit: Roger Allen

Bear Rescue

Credit: Roger Allen

It's believed that Misha and Dasha will be the first of about 80 brown bears to be freed within Armenia, thanks to work done by the International Animal Rescue organisation and the Federation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets.

The two groups have worked tirelessly to secure the safety of the bears and get them out of their poverty-like conditions. The IAR's website says many bears are kept in these cramped cages with barely any water or food, which seriously impacts their mental health.

It adds: "They are given unsuitable and insufficient food and no environmental enrichment to distract and amuse them. The bears have been deprived of their dignity and their freedom. They lack everything they need to live life as nature intended."

Armenian bears

Credit: Roger Allen

The organisation posted a video to social media several days ago, highlighting the bear's plight. One viewer wrote: "No real words can express the depths of what one feels while watching this. How someone could treat beautiful fellow beings like this."

They were instrumental in getting rid of dancing bears in India and targeted Armenia shortly afterwards following reports of their abominable conditions. Bears were allegedly being found not only in restaurants, but also in factories and bus depots across the country as tourist attractions.

Armenian Bears

Credit: Roger Allen

The IAR has constructed a safe sanctuary where Misha and Dasha will go and hopefully many more than get rescued.

IAR Chief Executive Alan Knight, has told the Daily Mail: "I can't thank the Armenian government enough, particularly the environment ministry, for their help in allowing this rescue to go ahead.

"Many of them relieve their boredom and ­frustration by pacing endlessly to and fro, banging their heads against the walls or climbing up the bars, searching ­frantically for an escape route. It is heart breaking and we are determined to bring it to end."

Sources: Daily Mail, IAR

Featured Image Credit: Roger Allen

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

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