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.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
cubs, sibling brown bears Marko and Maria were captured in the Albanian
mountains after their mother was killed by hunters. For two long years, they
languished in tiny cages outside a restaurant in Tirana, Albania, barely surviving
on scraps of bread.
woman who was determined to rescue the bears from this miserable situation
contacted PETA for help. For nearly a year, PETA assisted the tireless animal
activist by reaching out to many animal protection organizations. In September,
a breakthrough in the case finally came when Libearty Bear Sanctuary, a large, reputable bear
sanctuary in Europe, agreed to help and arranged for Marko and Maria to be
transported to their new home in Romania. The two will now spend the rest of
their lives exploring 170 acres of lush forests, climbing trees, drinking from streams,
and swimming in pools with the 56 other bears who live at Libearty.
and Maria's lives were changed forever because someone cared
enough to get involved. If you know of an animal who is suffering—perhaps a dog
who is kept chained in a neighbor's
backyard—please be that someone. Take action. You can make a difference!
Written by PETA
In response to the tragic bloodshed that occurred in Zanesville, Ohio, on Tuesday, the governor of Ohio has issued an executive order that directs state agencies to increase inspections of facilities that harbor exotic animals and sets up a hotline for the public to report unsafe exotic-animal situations. While PETA is glad that the governor is finally taking action on this issue, it is too little, too late, for the dozens of animals who were shot dead in Zanesville.
The executive order does nothing to address the fundamental problem—the fact that the state of Ohio allows private citizens to keep wild animals, which poses a danger to both animals and people. Just last year, a privately held bear mauled and killed a young man in Cleveland. That's why PETA is calling on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to exercise its authority to implement emergency regulations to prohibit the keeping of exotic and wild animals immediately.
The governor's executive order indicates that a legal framework for regulating dangerous wild animals will be proposed by November 30, but there is no need for delay: A ban on the private ownership of wild animals should be put in place right away.
Exotic and wild animals kept as pets always pay the price, whether they are shot and killed, as happened in Zanesville, or confined to backyards, basements, or garages, forced to lead lonely, desolate lives that are devoid of anything that they would experience naturally in the wild.
PETA, along with other animal protection organizations, sanctuaries, zoological facilities, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), condemns the private ownership of exotic and wild animals as pets—both for the animals' protection and the public's safety.
Please click here to visit the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website and politely urge the agency to exercise its authority to implement emergency regulations to prohibit the keeping of exotic and wild animals. Let's help ensure that a tragedy like the one in Zanesville has little chance of happening again.
Zanesville, Ohio, sheriff's deputies armed with assault rifles opened fire on dozens of "mature,
very big, aggressive" lions, tigers, cheetahs, wolves, and bears who
had escaped from a private menagerie in Ohio after the farm's owner, Terry
Thompson, was found dead and the animals' cage doors were left open and fences
unsecured. Primates were found locked in cages inside the
house. 48 animals were killed.
Thompson had a long history
of brushes with the law and had just completed a one-year sentence on two
federal counts of possessing illegal
firearms. In November 2005, Thompson was convicted of,
among other things, cruelty
and was subsequently sentenced to six months of house arrest and fined $2,870.
PETA had filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding Thompson's
illegal activities, including exhibiting animals without a license and declawing
tiger cubs in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.
Ohio has no
regulations governing the ownership
of exotic and dangerous animals. Exotic animals all over the state languish
without adequate food, water, and veterinary care. They eat rotten scraps,
drink algae-laden water, and spend their days pacing on feces- and
urine-encrusted dirt. Just last April, Ohio Gov. John Kasich refused to extend
an emergency ban on exotic animals in the state, which was put in place by his predecessor.
PETA has campaigned for an outright ban for many years.
join PETA in asking the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to exercise its authority to declare
emergency regulations to prohibit the keeping of exotic animals and also seize the animals over whom the agency has jurisdiction and see
that they are placed in reputable sanctuaries.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Our sympathies go out to the family of Kalei Welch, who died in an Illinois hospital after falling ill with E. coli poisoning. Health officials believe that the 5-year-old girl contracted the deadly bacterial infection at a petting zoo at the Hendricks County Fair.
PETA has been warning parents for years about the dangers of petting zoos, which are hotbeds of E. coli. Hundreds of children have been infected after visiting petting zoos, and many have suffered kidney failure, requiring long-term dialysis and multiple blood transfusions.
Infection can spread through direct animal contact or simply by touching the surroundings near an animal exhibit. Hand sanitizer does nothing to prevent the spread of E. coli by inhalation or indirect contact. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as many state departments of health have issued warnings about the health risks of petting zoos.
These displays are bad for animals too. Case in point: North Carolina's Jambbas Ranch is notorious for keeping animals in substandard conditions, including a lone neurotic bear named Ben.
Please ask North Carolina officials to keep people and animals safe by refusing to reissue Jambbas owner James Bass' wildlife-captivity license and endangered-species permit.
It's a heaping, hearty helping of Internet Soup today, and just like Justin Bieber's tower of trophies at the Teen Choice Awards, it's guaranteed to make u smile.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Thanks to the generosity of a kind PETA Vanguard Society member who was horrified after learning about the plight of bears at three miserable roadside zoos in Cherokee, North Carolina, PETA has been able to erect a billboard on busy Interstate 40 during the height of summer vacation season. The ad warns tourists that visiting Cherokee Bear Zoo, Chief Saunooke Bear Park, or Santa's Land, which all confine bears to barren concrete pits and pens, is not only cruel but also dangerous.
Please let the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Matthew Pegg know that Cherokee won’t be on your travel itinerary until the bears are retired to a sanctuary.
Former bear wrestler and longtime PETA foe Sam Mazzola was found dead recently, handcuffed to a waterbed and bound with chains and padlocks. He apparently choked to death on a sex toy that was lodged in his throat and that obstructed his breathing. He was also wearing a leather mask with the eyes and mouth zipped shut and a two-piece metal sphere covering his head.
Mazzola's history of dominating, controlling, and humiliating powerful animals may now make sense.
Prior to the bizarre circumstances of his passing, Mazzola was perhaps best known for the death of Brent Kandra, who died last year after being mauled by one of Mazzola's bears.
But Mazzola—who for years, until PETA got his license pulled, took bears out on the road and charged people to "wrestle" them—had brushes with the law and spent time in prison for trafficking in cocaine. His federal license to exhibit animals was permanently revoked in 2009, and he was fined nearly $14,000 for multiple violations of federal law, including threatening federal agents and falsely claiming that an inspector solicited a bribe. One of the bears he kept caged escaped Mazzola's compound and attacked a neighbor, causing injuries and property damage. Another young man was killed by a bear in the compound last year. PETA had petitioned the local government to close Mazzola's place down, move the animals out, and charge Mazzola with negligent homicide. An investigation was in progress.
Some animals, including bears, wolves, and big cats, still remain in small barren cages on Mazzola's property, and others have already been transferred to questionable operations.
Please join PETA in asking the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to seize all the animals over which they have jurisdiction and to see that they are placed in reputable sanctuaries. And please refuse to fund deplorable roadside zoos with your entry fee.
Just in time for William and Kate's (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) first official visit to Canada, two PETA volunteers wearing little more than faux-bearskin hats and smiles joined the Changing of the Guards ceremony in Ottawa to ask for a change of their own.
God save the bears!
PETA and PETA U.K. are asking the Ministry of Defence to replace its barbaric bearskin caps with cruelty-free faux fur.
The fur for The Queen's Guards' caps come from Canadian black bears, many of whom die in agony as they are shot multiple times. Some are even mothers whose babies are left to starve or fall victim to predators. It can take an entire bear's hide to make just one of these caps. If that's the kind of cruelty you just can't bear, urge the Ministry of Defence to stop being a royal pain and switch to faux fur.
Written by Jared Misner
After learning that a 9-year-old girl was bitten by a bear at Chief Saunooke Bear Park (CSBP) in Cherokee, N.C., PETA hand-delivered a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) asking that the zoo's exhibitor's license be revoked immediately. According to a USDA inspection report, the girl was scratched and had tooth marks on her wrist bone after being allowed to get up close to the bear to feed the animal Lucky Charms and cat food. Let me get this straight: The bear's diet includes junk food and little girls. The incident was the second documented bite at CSPB in that week. Last December, a 75-year-old caretaker was attacked by a bear at this crummy roadside zoo.
PETA is working to close the filthy bear pits in Cherokee, N.C., and get the animals shipped to sanctuaries. The shoddy enclosures and the lax approach to human-animal interactions pose a threat to humans, and the bears live a miserable life that can't remotely be termed "humane." CSBP was recently cited for risking serious injury to animals by maintaining unsafe enclosures, feeding bears cat food and sugary cereal, reusing filthy food trays, and other violations.
Please ask the USDA to pull the plug on this dangerous and cruel operation.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.