The Imprisoned Bears of Armenia


On the morning of October 21, the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets’ (FPWC) and Yerevan Zoo’s staff joined the police and fire-rescue team to search for a two and a half year old bear who had escaped from its cage in “Tputner” restaurant, located in the city of Tsaghkadzor.

The bear, named Achon, had gone into a forest and its caretaker, realizing that the animal may pose a danger to the local population, had called for assistance.

Before noon, the search team was able to successfully put the bear to sleep and transport it back to its cage in the restaurant.

In Armenia it is illegal to keep wild animals in private establishments in unknown conditions. Nonetheless, according to non-official statistics, more than 150 bears annually become victims of illegal traps and poachers in Armenia. Viewed as a status symbol, large numbers of them end up as entertainment subjects in restaurants and homes.