Tomi and Hope are two bears with a truly incredible love story.
The story begins in 2015, when animal rescue organization Four Paws took Tomi in. Tomi had been living in a cage outside a restaurant in Albania. The owner of the restaurant fed the neglected, abused bear bread and beer and not much else. Tomi had been in the cage since he was a cub.
When Four Paws International learned about Tomi’s plight, they negotiated with the restaurant owner for his release. Just like that, Tomi was finally free!
When the bear arrived at Four Paws Sanctuary in Kosovo, he stepped onto real grass for the first time in his life.
On their Facebook page, Four Paws International shared an incredible video that showed how much Tomi has changed since arriving at their sanctuary.
And there are more before/after pictures. In this video you see Tomi as he was fed with beer in his former keeping condition, near the toilets of a restaurant in northern Albania. He lived in a completely filthy cage and chewed on iron bars out of boredom and frustration. Now he can relax in his enclosure and discover exciting treats. We are looking forward to watching how Tomi is enjoying his life at our Bear Sanctuary Prishtina!Please help us give other bears in Albania this new quality of life and sign our petition www.savethesaddestbears.com. We will do our best to find new opportunities for the many imprisoned bears in Albania together with the Albanian Ministry of the Environment Ministria e Mjedisit. #savethesaddestbears
Posted by FOUR PAWS International on Friday, November 11, 2016
Tomi loved everything about life at the sanctuary.
In summer, the bear loved swimming in the pool and rolling in the grass. In the winter, he loved getting to play in the snow.
Even though Tomi seemed very happy, the staff at Four Paws International worried that he was lonely. They decided to start doing socialization training with him, and they introduced him to a bear named Hope.
Like Tomi, Four Paws International rescued Hope from a cage outside an Albanian restaurant. She was a bit younger and a bit shyer than Tomi. Four Paws wanted Tomi to help Hope get out of her shell. They could have never predicted how well their first meeting would go!
“Tomi and Hope’s socialization started,” Four Paws wrote on Facebook. “And it was clear that they liked each other from the very first moment.”
The two bears slowly approached each other. They sniffed each other and then got even closer. And then, the two started doing the bear version of kissing!
“We can happily report that they are inseparable,” Four Paws wrote. “They spend their time playing together and are already sharing the pool! It really is so heartwarming to see these former #saddestbears ending up so happy together!”
In the two months since they were introduced, Tomi and Hope have spent all their time together.
The two star-crossed lovers never want to leave each other’s side. They’re especially fond of taking baths together in the sanctuary’s pool.
When Tomi and Hope first arrived at Four Paws International, the staff called them the ‘saddest bears’ since they had gone through so much hardship in their lives. But now, these two formally sad bears are as happy as can be. After suffering so much, two bears now have a wonderful life ahead of them!
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h/t: The Dodo