Three-Legged Bear Rescued from Albanian Zoo Wins Hibernation Contest

Dushi, a three-legged rescue bear, wins the 'March Napness' hibernation competition, showcasing the resilience of animals and the importance of animal welfare efforts.

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Quadri Adejumo
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Three-Legged Bear Rescued from Albanian Zoo Wins Hibernation Contest

Three-Legged Bear Rescued from Albanian Zoo Wins Hibernation Contest

Dushi, a three-legged bear rescued from the 'Europe's worst zoo' in Albania, has won the second annual 'March Napness' hibernation competition organized by the animal welfare group Four Paws. Dushi, who lives at the Bear Sanctuary Müritz in Germany, emerged as the winner after sleeping the longest among 23 participating bears from six sanctuaries worldwide.

Dushi had a difficult start in life, living in a cramped and dirty cage at the Safari Park Zoo in Fier, Albania, without access to fresh water or healthy food. She was found in poor physical condition with clear behavioral disorders due to her confinement. When she was brought to the Bear Sanctuary Müritz in 2019, a wildlife veterinarian discovered bullet fragments in both of her front legs, causing her to lose one of her paws.

Why this matters: Dushi's story underscores the plight of animals in substandard zoos and the significance of animal rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Her victory in the hibernation contest showcases the resilience of animals and their ability to thrive when given proper care and a suitable environment.

However, Dushi was given a fresh start at her new home in Germany and was able to heal on her own. She is now described as curious and playful by her caretakers at the sanctuary. Despite her rough start in life, Dushi has overcome her challenges and captured the hearts of fans in the March Napness competition.

The March Napness competition, inspired by March Madness, is an annual bracket competition organized by Four Paws to find the world's sleepiest bear. The other three finalists in the competition were Tyson from Bear Sanctuary Domazhyr in Ukraine and Jamila and Sam, two siblings from Arosa Bear Sanctuary in Switzerland. Fans can still vote for their favorite bear in the final four.

"Dushi has come a long way since her rescue from the Safari Park Zoo in Albania," said a spokesperson for Four Paws. "Her victory in the March Napness competition is a testament to her resilience and the dedicated care she receives at the Bear Sanctuary Müritz. We hope her story inspires people to support animal welfare and rescue efforts around the world."

Key Takeaways

  • Dushi, a 3-legged bear, won the 'March Napness' hibernation contest.
  • Dushi was rescued from poor conditions at a zoo in Albania.
  • Dushi lost a paw due to bullet fragments in her legs.
  • Dushi's victory showcases animal resilience with proper care.
  • The contest aims to find the world's sleepiest bear annually.