PETA Helps Liberate Ben the Bear!
After a long and hard-fought battle by PETA, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and concerned citizens, “Ben the Bear” has been rescued from filthy, cramped conditions at a North Carolina roadside zoo and will now live out the rest of his life at the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), a beautiful wildlife sanctuary in northern California!
Before his relocation, Ben spent six long years imprisoned at Jambbas Ranch. Jambbas personnel looked at Ben as nothing more than “Attraction no. 2” and locked him away in a small chain-link cage. Ben could never do anything that he wanted to do—whether it was eating when he wanted, playing, or running.
Ben’s world consisted of nothing more than a barren 12-foot-by-22-foot concrete floor surrounded by a chain-link fence, and all he had was a ball, some moldy stumps of wood, and a rusty water trough. He was fed dry dog food, which his “caretakers” dumped onto the same concrete floor where he urinated and defecated. His interaction with others was limited to being gawked at by passersby, listening to screaming children, and getting the occasional piece of bread tossed to him by a tourist.
Ben spent most of his waking hours pacing, a result of extreme deprivation and a sign of chronic distress. Two concerned citizens saw him and agreed to take action. With PETA’s help, they filed a cruelty-to-animals lawsuit. Their case was heard by Cumberland County Court District Judge Kimbrell Tucker, who saw that the evidence was clear: Ben’s needs were “not being met dietarily, veterinarily, and, most importantly, environmentally.” The judge stated that Ben’s enclosure did “not meet the requirements … for this bear’s health and well-being.” She issued a preliminary injunction that allowed PETA to transfer Ben to California pending her final ruling in the case. A happy day!
When Ben explored his vast new, spacious habitat for the first time, he pawed at and smelled the ground—likely the first time he had ever felt grass beneath his paws. Within minutes, he was already bathing and splashing in his own pool, ridding his body of grime for the first time in years. That night, he slept soundly on a bed of straw.
On August 27, the court again ruled in Ben’s favor, this time issuing a final order, and the sanctuary is now his permanent home! Ben will continue to bask in the sun, roll in the grass, splash in the water, and for the first time, Ben gets to live like a bear.