Four bears had to be rescued after their cage was set on fire at the back of the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin.

The four Canadian Black bears, two adult and two babies, were caged in a truck at the back of the theatre. The bears had been performing an act as part of the 'Dick Whittington' pantomime at the Gaiety Theatre.

The cage was set alight in what is believed to be an arson attack. Gardaí discovered the burning wooden cage on Tangier Lane off Grafton street at around 3.30 am. The bears were not injured and their afternoon performance went on as normal.

Their owner and trainer Norwegian Kris Van Diger explains how he learned of the fire and the events that followed.

Gardaí are trying to establish who started the fire.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 January 1985. The reporter is Colm Murray.