We, humans, are the most advanced species in the entire chain of living organisms. But what makes us superior to others is the emotions that we feel which we are able to share it with our loved ones and with the people around us. Now take a look around you and ignore all the human, what did you see? You will find animals roaming around with the most simple expressions on their face that only ask for our love and care. They also have emotions but the only thing that they don’t have is the capability to convey all these emotions that they go through. If you have a pet in your house then you must be aware of the unconditional love that they provide you. But why do we only love our pets and not the animals that do not belong to us? Just because they are wild and live outside your home. I agree, that not all animals can be treated in the same way we treat our pets but we should not forget that even a wild horse can be tamed with love and proper care.
There are around 50 bears that are living in small cages in Albania and are used as a tourist attraction and photo props. But with the help of the rescue organization Four Paws, they helped in the release of the first bear named Tomi from the cage where he lived for 5 years spending his days in being captive in dismissal conditions.
Today, Tomi is free and lives in a sanctuary where something amazing was waiting for him. Let’s meet Tomi, the bear who is much more special than the character Baloo from The Jungle Book.
Tomi was caged in Albania in a restaurant since he was a cub. He was used as an entertainment source for the people who visited the place. Once described as the saddest bear in the world by the International media, today, Tomi lives his life enjoying and catching apples in an open sanctuary near Lake Badvovc, 21 kilometers from Pristina. It is not just Tomi but there are other bears too who go through same exploitation and inhumanity.
At present, there are about 250 Albanian bears. This species is rapidly declining and looking at the current estimate of their population they are at the lowest. What is being done? The organization like Four Paws that work all around the globe for the protection of the animals are also in the process of saving these bears that are on verge of extinction. If that happens the world will lose one of the most beautiful species that ever lived. Yes, they are big and wild but that doesn’t give us the right to treat them the way they are being treated today.
If Tomi could only speak he would have told his heart touching story in his own words but sadly we humans think of ourselves as the greatest living species on earth. With all the cruelty that Tomi and other bears faced or facing could we really call ourselves as human? Think about it.
Evidence Tells Different Story
There is enough evidence on paper, internet, and media that the practice of dancing bears, caging and chaining them still persists in Albania. There have been reports that snatched bear cubs are also kept in the restaurants. The let it go attitude of the people are making the condition worse for the bears. Still, the magnitude of the problem is unknown.
Ignorance Is Not Always Bliss
Yes, International agreements provide protection to the brown bears and they have also put them on the red list of endangered species in Albania but everything looks good on paper. In reality, things are just the opposite. One of the biggest problems is that people are not aware of the consequences that come along with this illegal and devastating practices that include using them as an entertainment source, caging them in the restaurant, giving them beer, and walking them around in chains. They lose their identity as they become something else entirely.
Even Tomi was the victim of such cruelty but still, he did not lose hope and became the happiest bear in Europe.
How It All Began For Tomi
When Four Paws found out about the captive bears in Albania where Tomi was one of them they decided to help all the bears. After looking at the conditions of these bears they felt that the process could take longer but the organization was determined and ready to go any length to save them. They saw the way these bears were being treated.
Years of Abuse
For five years, all Tomi has experienced is the cruelty of the restaurant owner who saw him not as his pet but as a property that he owns to which he can do whatever he wants. Four Paws reached out to the restaurant owner and asked him to release Tomi. Later, when Tomi was moved to the sanctuary, Fitore Berisha, a guide in the center told,“Like no other bear in the center, Tomi has enjoyed his new home since the first day, always playing and looking content,”