UPDATE: Following new video evidence that shows a bear struggling with a significant right forelimb limp at the much-criticized Cherokee Bear Zoo (CBZ), PETA is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to step in and require that the roadside zoo provide the bear with veterinary care. Bears held captive at CBZ are confined to cramped concrete pits, deprived of the soft substrate they need to dig and climb, and predisposed to early-onset arthritis—a serious and painful joint disease. PETA is urging the USDA—which has cited facilities for confining bears to concrete pits in the past—to hold CBZ accountable for any violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
The animals you see below are confined to nearly empty concrete pits, where they have nothing to do other than pace back and forth, walk in endless circles, and beg tourists to toss them a tiny crumb of food.
In the wild, bears—who are capable of a wide range of feelings and emotions—forage for a wide variety of foods and dig in soft earth, brush, and leaves. But the concrete pits that the Cherokee bears are forced to call home deprive them of everything that is natural and important to them. Surrounded by four solid walls, the bears cannot scan the horizon, gain a perspective on their surroundings, or make much use of their acute sense of smell.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that this is wrong.
Call Cherokee Bear Zoo owners Barry and Collette Coggins at 828-497-4525 and feel free to use the text below for help.
Let us know how your call went by submitting a report, and we’ll give you 350 Street Team points!