John Hurt, Lena Headey and Ricky Gervais are among the stars backing a campaign to save two bears from captivity at a restaurant in Russia.

Members of World Animal Protection have launched a drive to release the creatures, which have been kept in cages at an eaterie in Sochi, and transport them to a bear sanctuary.

Alien actor Hurt has urged fans to sign the organisation's petition, writing in a post on, "#SochiBears need help. Sign the petition so (they can be brought) to safety," while Game of Thrones star Headey adds, "These beautiful creatures need your help lovely people. Go and sign immediately. Lend support. Retweet."

Longtime animals rights campaigner Gervais also retweeted a link to the petition, while other stars to back the campaign include actor Brian Blessed and pop singer Alesha Dixon.

World Animal Protection UK Country Director, Suzi Morris, says, "We are extremely grateful for all the support we have been shown by our animal-loving and high-profile friends... We are working with our local partners, Big Hearts Foundation, to rescue the bears from their miserable conditions and to move them to the space and freedom of the AMP Romanian Bear Sanctuary, so that (for) the first time in their 20-year lives they will the experience freedom that has been denied them for so long."