Thanks once again to the generosity of friend to animals Sam Simon, PETA has rescued two Himalayan black bears who were illegally imported into Tennessee by the owner of Three Bears General Store—a notorious tourist trap in Pigeon Forge that confines bears to a concrete pit.

After learning that the owner of the facility was holding bears at a second location—which turned out to be a decrepit cage in someone’s backyard—PETA submitted a complaint to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which then investigated and charged the owner with illegally importing bears into the state. A deal was struck that allowed us to arrange for the two bears, one male and one female, to be transferred to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado.


Sevierville TN Bears in Enclosure

This decrepit backyard cage was “home” for the two Himalayan black bears.

Sevierville TN Bear Enclosure

This is the cage that the two bears were confined to before PETA rescued them.

Because it’s suspected that the female may be pregnant, we arranged for the bears to be transported from Tennessee to Colorado right away so that she’ll have the opportunity to give birth to her cubs in a cozy den—not on a concrete slab.

Sevierville TN Bear Enclosure

Wild bears explore vast areas of up to hundreds of miles, but this barren enclosure was all that the two bears knew before they were rescued.

Three Bears General Store’s owner said that he had acquired the bears in order to breed them and shamelessly admitted that he would have taken the cubs away from their mother as soon as possible after their birth.


Sevierville TN Bears at Sanctuary

The two bears explore their new home shortly after arriving at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado.

Excuse us while our hearts burst into a gazillion pieces.

Sevierville TN Bear Close-Up at Sanctuary

The bears feel the soft earth beneath their paws—possibly for the first time ever.

Bears Still Need Your Help

Bears are extremely intelligent and inquisitive, and they spend most of their time foraging and exploring home ranges of up to hundreds of miles in the wild. In stark contrast, Three Bears confines the animals to a tiny concrete pit devoid of even a single blade of grass.

What You Can Do

Ask the owner of Three Bears General Store to close his cruel bear pit for good and send all the remaining bears to a sanctuary.


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