Russian Alcoholic Bears Offered Rehab in Romania

beer cans

Two bears living outside of a restaurant in Sochi, Russia have apparently developed alcoholism reports UPI. In February, a court ruled that the bears—who have been at the restaurant for 20 years—be seized from the owner who has stated that “beer is good for the bears because of the Sochi climate.” The pair will be transferred to live at a bear sanctuary outside of Barsov, Romania, where they will be treated for alcohol addiction.

The Big Hearts Foundation, an animal welfare organization, is now working with other charities to secure their transportation, an expensive operation that involves plenty of paperwork. Anna Kogan, head of the foundation, says this is not the first time bears have been treated for alcohol addiction; dancing bears have been treated at the same Romanian bear sanctuary where the Russian pair is headed.

“There are drunken people who come to the restaurant, park their cars in front of the bears and throw things to the animals so that they get drunk and behave funnily. They are held in cages—and have been blinded by the car lights,” Kogan told The Independent when the world first learned of the neglected bears. While at first getting the animals to a safe place seemed an impossible goal, The Big Hearts Foundation has offered these guys a chance at sobriety. [UPI][Photo: Flickr/Michelle Tribe]