VICTORY! Bears Are Finally Free!

Profile photo of Rachelle-O

Posted July 9, 2013 by Rachelle Owen

Say it with me: YAY!!

Today, 11 bears are feeling grass beneath their paws for the first time ever—thanks to a kind and generous person who offered to help find them a home and to people like you who wrote, called, and otherwise fought for these bears to see freedom!

© International Exotic Animal Sanctuary© International Exotic Animal Sanctuary

These bears had been imprisoned in concrete pits at Chief Saunooke Bear Park in Cherokee, North Carolina, which PETA has been working to shut down for years. Following a PETA investigation, the roadside zoo paid a fine and surrendered its exhibitor’s license.

And when someone generously offered to help find a new home for the bears, the zoo’s owner took the person up on the offer, and the bears were finally outta there! The donor quickly had the bears transferred to their new home at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary (IEAS) in Dallas. And with the seedy bear pit now closed, the owners have left the business of exhibiting animals behind them.

Now instead of being trapped in barren concrete cells, the bears have woods, thickets, and ponds at the sanctuary.

bear-free-1© International Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Instead of begging tourists for junk food such as Lucky Charms cereal, they nom on fresh food, including their favorite treats: avocados, grapes, peanuts, and watermelon.

free-bear-2© International Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Rather than turning in endless circles or rocking back and forth, they now climb trees, amble through underbrush, and forage.

To see more photos of the bears and find out how you can “adopt” them, visit IEAS’ website.


Right now other bears at Cherokee Bear Zoo (another roadside hellhole in North Carolina) are circling concrete pits, pacing back and forth, and begging for food. Help get them out of there now!



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