‘World’s saddest bear’ caged for 30 years ‘goes days without food’

Campaigners are trying to free an elderly blind bear – dubbed the 'world's saddest' – having spent his entire life behind bars.

According to International Animal Rescue (IAR), since he was a cub, Nelson the brown bear has lived in a small and filthy cage receiving barely any water and food.

Locals claim his captors in Armenia will even neglect his needs entirely for a number of days before finally offering just enough nutrition to survive.

As if Nelson had not suffered enough by breaking his teeth on the bars containing him, the bear has reportedly developed arthritis and lost his sight two years ago.

What do you think about this story? Have your say and see what others think in the comments.

With nowhere to exercise even for just a few hours a day, Nelson has worn in the floor of his cage from pacing around in the same circles.

Alan Knight, Chief Executive of IAR, said: "This poor bear has served a 30-year life sentence behind bars. He has suffered the mental and physical torture of a lifetime locked up in a small, barren cage with nothing to amuse or distract him.

  • Adorable Alsatian rescue pup born without back paws learns to walk using prosthetics

"He has paced round and round for so long that he has worn a track on the floor. His teeth are broken from gnawing on the bars of the cage. And about two years ago, the poor animal went blind. He is in pain from arthritis and now also lives in darkness."

Pressure to free Nelson from his horrendous conditions in Armenia is mounting from UK-based charity IAR and its partners in Armenia, the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC).

  • Warning as pet dog dies after swallowing fish hook on beach during family holiday

In a statement released on Monday, IAR said it wants the Armenian government to force Armen Tadevosyan – the bear’s captor – to surrender the bear.

Mr Knight continued: "The bear’s life sentence must not be allowed to become a death sentence. There is still time for him to know kindness and compassion.

"We’re calling on the Armenian government to show clemency to this bear by allowing us to rescue him while there is still time. His 'owner' claims to love the bear but loving an animal means taking proper care of it and feeding it, not letting it live in squalor and neglect."

  • Woman who tried to order KFC from drive-through on mobility scooter refused service

In 2017 the IAR and FPWC teamed up to launch The Great Bear Rescue with the ambition of rehoming all caged bears in Armenia.

According to the statement, the coalition has freed 30 bears but still suspects up to 50 more in need of help.

Ruben Khachatryan, Founder and Director of FPWC, said: "We urgently need the government’s go-ahead to rescue this poor old bear so that it can spend its remaining years in our care.

"Shame on the man who has allowed him to live for 30 years in such a shocking state. He must surely be the world’s saddest bear, to have lived in pain and darkness for such a very long time. Once the government is aware of this case, it can’t turn its back on the animal’s suffering."

Mr Khachatryan added that the charities will do everything they can to make Nelson's retirement a happy one.

  • Circus bear turns on trainer in horror on-stage attack in front of terrified kids

He said: "With the government’s support, we can move this bear to our Wildlife Rescue Centre where our rescued bears are well cared for and learn to enjoy life after years of misery.

"Our vet will treat his ailments and we can even find out whether his sight could be restored.

"The people of Armenia will be horrified that an animal is being kept in such appalling conditions and I know will join us in calling on the government to act immediately to save him."

For more incredible stories from the Daily Star, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here

Source: Read Full Article