Written by Michelle Kretzer
In a moving TV news report about two bear cubs orphaned near Cherokee,
North Carolina, who were rehabilitated and released into their native habitat, Cherokee Chief
Michell Hicks commented, "It makes you feel good to know that you were
able to help an animal that was in an unfortunate situation." PETA wants
Chief Hicks to feel even better, so we're asking him to help other bears in
unfortunate situations: those who are languishing in Cherokee's squalid bear pits.
three roadside zoos on the reservation—Cherokee Bear Zoo, Chief Saunooke Park,
and Santa's Land—have all received numerous U.S. Department of Agriculture citations for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including failing to provide
veterinary care, feeding bears moldy food, exposing bears to electrical outlets
and sharp metal, and leaving bears' fur caked with feces.
But despite the citations, the bears are
still kept in barren concrete cages, where they exhibit neurotic behaviors
brought on by the stress of intense confinement, such as pacing, walking in
circles, crying, and begging tourists for food.
Hicks said the rehabilitation of the bear cubs showed the kind hearts of the
Cherokee people. Ask him to extend that compassion to all bears by working to close
the Cherokee bear pits and retire the animals to sanctuaries.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.