The bears have been transported to a stunning 60-acre natural habitat at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, where they are already rolling in the grass, racing around in the fields, and enjoying relative freedom and fresh mountain air.
The move was the result of a collaborative effort between PETA, PETA supporter and The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon, The Wild Animal Sanctuary, and the Atlanta Humane Society. PETA worked quickly to relocate the first six bears—two pregnant brown bears, Ursula and O.B.; cubs Howell and Mansell; and juvenile siblings Drew and Rose. Ursula and O.B. were moved to the sanctuary in time to give birth to their new cubs in comfortable dens, and for the first time ever, they will have the chance to raise their cubs themselves, instead of having them taken away shortly after birth. Hunter, Nikki, Mikie, Dakota, Chance, Goldie, Ringo, Marley, Burton, Nanoochie, and Spunky were moved at a later date.
Each transport was a carefully planned event that included at least one veterinarian. During the long journey, the bears rested in climate-controlled trailers and the only stops were for gas and veterinary checks and to re-provision the bears.
The bears had been held captive in virtually barren concrete pits at Black Forest Bear Park (BFBP) in Helen, Georgia, and had shown signs of severe stress, including pacing. They had little protection from the elements, and the government had cited BFBP for housing them in unsafe and decrepit enclosures with jagged edges and protruding bolts and in cages showing rust and corrosion. While held in these tiny enclosures, the bears had to beg tourists for pieces of apples and bread. The pits are now closed for good!
When the bears first arrived at the sanctuary, the team opened the trailer doors and let them slowly look around at their new surroundings before moving them into their new habitat. Dakota immediately stepped out of the cage, put his nose to the ground, and started smelling and exploring the environment. He then started grazing, and it didn’t take long before he was running joyously around his new, vast home!
All the bears were given time to become acclimated to their new surroundings and to experience sights, sounds, and smells that they never could have imagined in the bear pits where they saw virtually nothing but concrete walls and gawking tourists. One-year-old cubs Howell and Mansell were so thrilled with their new home that they immediately started climbing on everything in their surroundings, even the entrance to their den!
The future is bright for these bears—but other animals still need your help: Take action NOW for the dozens of animals still trapped at Jambbas Ranch—a roadside hellhole in North Carolina.