Russia Sends Drunken Bears To Rehab

If you ever wanted to understand what kind of country Russia is, this story pretty much condenses everything into a nutshell for you – Russia is unbridled madness that straddles the line between hilarious and pathetically sad to the point of being infuriating.  You’ve no doubt seen the numerous dash cam videos of people throwing themselves, intentionally, in front of cars, and the hundreds of other “what the hell is that guy doing?” videos that come out of Russia on a regular basis, and all of that, along with this, help paint that rich tapestry of Russian ridiculousness.  Why is the country like this?  We don’t know.  Why did a restaurant in Russia keep two drunken bears?  We don’t know.

Located in Sochi, two bears had been living in a tiny, awful cage together for more than 20 years.  One of the bears has gone blind and both are straight up alcoholics thanks to visitors who, unlike in North America where we might throw peanuts or popcorn if we’re ignorant tourists, throw alcohol.  How is it Russian passers-by just have booze on hand to throw at bears all the time?  Enough that the bears became alcoholics?

Thankfully for the bears, someone got wise to the situation and a court has ordered that they be removed from their little tavern.  The bears are set to be shipped to a facility in Romania where they can be properly taken care of and weaned off the sauce.  Meanwhile, the bears’ current owner has tried to defend the way he cares for the bears pointing out that beer is probably good for them because of the climate.  Go on, scientists, try to debunk that one. 

According to the rescue workers trying to save the bears, years of poor diet, not just booze but junk food thrown by restaurant customers, and the glaring lights of cars parked right against their tiny cage have blinded the bears.

The bears are expected to be transported across the Black Sea to Romania in March. Until then, they have to stay in the same cage because no one has offered up any other place to house them.  Even finding a facility to care for them was a chore as no one wants to deal with alcoholic bears since alcohol dependency is much worse in a bear than it is in a human 9which means this has happened enough that animal care workers are aware of that) and putting them through rehab is both very expensive and dangerous as it’s possible they’ll die.

Turns out this is pretty normal in Russia, too.  People hunt bears in the spring and the cubs are left alone.  For whatever insane reason, people take the cubs home, play with them until they get to be a bit too big and deadly, then just put them in a cage for the rest of their lives.  It’s like those idiots who get bunnies on Easter, only way worse because these ones weigh a few hundred pounds and can kill a man.

Hopefully the bears will be taken care of and can live out the rest of their lives in peace while the rest of us keep trying to figure out what the deal is with Russia.