A sick and abandoned Pennsylvania bear who waited 30 years to be saved is now healthy and happy after authorities finally rescued her (video below).
Syrian brown bear Fifi spent the first 10 years of her life performing at a roadside zoo before it shut down, The Dodo reports.
Fifi was left to spend the next 20 years in a tiny cage with three other abandoned bears.
In 2015, their owner finally decided to let them go.
When authorities arrived, however, they found an elderly, painfully thin Fifi staring at them with sunken eyes and a sorrow-filed expression etched onto her face. The bears swayed back and forth, a behavior common in extremely distressed animals.
Simple movement caused Fifi pain, which rescuers later identified as a sign of severe untreated arthritis in her back legs.
Worse still, the bears were not allowed to engage in activities necessary for their health, such as hibernating.
"The 4 bears only had small rotted wood boxes to lay in, but were not large enough for the bears to fit into completely — nor did they have an end wall to close off the box from winter snow and cold," Colorado’s Wild Animal Sanctuary, Fifi’s new home, explained on Facebook on Dec. 27, 2015. "Their owner felt they shouldn't hibernate and made sure they stayed awake each winter for decades (this is extremely detrimental to the bears' health and well being)."
The moment she was released, Fifi almost immediately ran to the water to swim -- a normal habit of bears which she was forbidden from doing.
“[She made] a beeline for her new pool ... promptly submerging herself for likely the first time ever,” PETA wrote, according to The Dodo.
Only a few months after her rescue, Fifi was said to be happy and healthy.
"We are thrilled to see how big and beautiful Fifi is, and that she is doing very well with her first hibernation in 30+ years!" The Wild Animal Sanctuary wrote.