Mark Robertson

Mark Robertson

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A bear living in a cage at a restaurant for 20 years finally is rescued

He spends his days just lying in his cage near a busy road. Mark the brown bear eats the bread and lettuce left for him where he has been kept captive for more than 20 years.

Mark is the last of dozens of bears held in such conditions outside Albanian restaurants as a means of attracting and amusing guests, says the charity that is about to rescue him

"When (we) started 2016 there were more than 30 bears kept in small cages," said Magdalena Scherk Trettin, from Four Paws International, prior to administering a powerful sedative to Mark in preparation for the long journey to the Austrian sanctuary that the Vienna-based global organization runs.

When Mark arrived at the restaurant he was just a cub, said Scherk Trettin, estimating him to have been born in 1998.

The restaurant changed hands a year ago, and its new owners chose to hand him over and plans to dismantle his cage - to the displeasure of at least one of their employees.

"Today I am not feeling good because they are taking the bear away. We have been used to living with (him)," said Misir Maxhuku, whose duties have included caring for Mark for the past four years.

Four Paws says inadequate legislation means bears and other wild animals remain at risk of being abused as pets or tourist attractions in Albania, where has rescued 11 other bears.

It has also saved 16 in neighbouring Kosovo, where it operates a second sanctuary.

I can only hope that once he arrives in the sanctuary he will make a successful transition and be alot happier than he must have been for the past 20+ years.

This is a video that the rescuers of Mark posted just weeks ago....

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