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Bear Is Losing His Mind at Roadside Zoo

Written by PETA | April 6, 2011

For years, a lone declawed bear named Ben has been confined around the clock to a cramped, barren pen at Jambbas Ranch Tours, a seedy roadside zoo in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Ben paces back and forth over and over again and bites the chain-link walls of his cage, pushes against them, and reaches his paws under them. A bear expert who reviewed footage of Ben for PETA explained that with these sad behaviors, Ben is trying to tell us something—he wants out!

PETA has been in contact with Cumberland County officials since last summer, requesting the enforcement of a county law that prohibits the possession of bears, raccoons, foxes, and alligators. Jambbas owner James Bass has all these types of animals in his possession, and he keeps them in substandard, miserable conditions. But so far, no action has been taken. In fact, PETA recently learned that rather than enforcing the law, Cumberland County commissioners amended the ordinance in an attempt to exempt Jambbas at Bass’ request.

PETA has arranged for Ben and some of the other illegally possessed animals to go to sanctuaries where they will receive the care that they deserve, but charges against Bass may be dismissed in light of this recent ordinance change. Now it is up to Cumberland County District Attorney William West to prosecute Bass when he appears in court on April 11. You can help by contacting District Attorney William West and encouraging him to uphold the law and send these animals to sanctuaries.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • Ali Harp says:

    I think the District Attorney needs to be recalled! He is an elected official. He’s clearly not doing his job. Start a petition and get him recalled. Also the Attorney General needs to be contacted as well.

  • Just me says:

    Rapists, pedophiles and murderers are treated better than zoo animals who are caged up. Come on, the animals don’t deserve it. If you want to see an animal, go to a proper wildlife reserve. If the animals get instinct, tough for the humans, then it’s our fault and the privilage of seeing a wild animal is gone.

  • susanna says:

    This poor bear should go to a sanctuary where he is free. Just like he should beliving!!!

  • JoAnne Gallop says:

    Release this bear and the other animals to the welcoming Sanctuaries. Quit the good ole boy mentality and do what’s right for this poor bear , North Carolina looks so bad tolerating this abuse.

  • Alf Westermark says:

    Relieve the poor bear…take his place if you want !!

  • Emma says:

    This is Bear is not in a normal enviroment where he should be. There animals are not for show and tell for tourists.Free Beautiful Ben and everyone keep supporting peta and the wonderful work they do. And write to William West to fight for this bears rights he deserves

  • j johnson says:

    This is disgusting treatment.. Let him go !!

  • Allan Yorkowitz says:

    Isn’t it time to admit the show is over….?

  • dc says:

    I’m for the right to arm bears. Free this beautiful bear and put the men keeping him in the cage under the same conditions and timeframe for punishment!

  • barbara scharff says:

    If all of us humans felt we could ignore upholding the law as apparently does District Attorney West, what kind of hell would we live in? We are not helpless, but this poor bear is locked up and defenseless. What a ruthless act of inhumanity this is! As a DA I would like to think he has a conscience and do the right thing.

  • Karen Neisany says:

    James Bass, you bas…. How’s come’s you think you have the right to imprisson animals? ? ? and treat them so cruely? ? ? Who are you anyway but some pathetic “human” being making money off of misery. YOUR LIFE IS CRAP!!!!



  • Kitty Mama says:

    Lock this bastard up and throw away the key.See how he likes it.

  • Paula says:

    Wake up .. get this guy outta there .. he is a bear and needs to live with bears. He has a place to go. Please help him live his last few years free.

  • Barbara Smolinski says:

    I have and will continue to support Animal Liberation but myself and this organization are treated like criminals for rescuing animals such as these and the real heartless bast—- likeJames Bass are allowed to get away with their crimes. I believe evil returns to evil. May he rot in hell

  • Kim Green says:

    Let him & the other poor mistreated animals go!!! I don’t understand why that Jerk would want to continue to mistreat these animals when others are willing to give them the care & attention they need & deserve!!! He should be caged like he has done to them so he knows what it feels like!!!

  • Sharon J. Kennedy says:

    This is proof that another community is not reading their Bibles as to justice and compassion. In the words of Jesus: “Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.” The silence from believers with respect to animal cruelty is unacceptable. Christ died on the cross to give justice to all creation–we have an obligation to Christ to do kindness, charity, peace and love with all of God’s family…and make no mistake the animal kingdom is part of God’s family. Animals were at the manager, they rode thru the flood with Noah, the Holy Spirit came as a Dove when Christ was baptized in the Jordan River so how come so many Christians remain apathetic concerning the sins and violence done to our brothers and sisters from the animal kingdom?

  • Lisa says:

    Humans – cruel, evil, heartless and greedy. We weren’t born this way it is a choice to be this way and because it is a choice they maed when they decided to hurt, torture an innocent then it is only fair that they are treated the way they have treated the innocent. Time to do what is right, can’t keep turning the other cheek, if we do that then there will be nothing left of this world all because of humans. Stop the evil, stop the killing.

  • Lisa says:

    LET HIM GO!!! He does not deserve this kind of treatment, he has done absolutly nothing wrong. What is wrong with humans???? They make me sick and I’m tired of seeing, hearing and listening to the evil shit that humans are doing to the innocent. Time to stop them. I hate to say this but it’s because of this evil that I feel this way … do unto them as they have done to the innocent. They need to FEEL what it’s like, it is however only fair.

  • Sara Holt says:


  • Carol Schupp says:

    I’m with everyone here. How can this happen? Why can’t PETA or Humane Society not be able to take this bear and set him free or let him go to one of these places that take these kinds of animals and rescue them and let them run free on the protected property.

  • Adam says:

    This is disgusting. Some humans don’t have an ounce of decency.

  • Mary Leader says:

    SET HIM FREE NOW!!!!!!!

  • Irene Leggett says:

    What a sad, lonely, miserable life for such a creature to endure. If his owner is so concerned about the money he earns from the bear, couldn’t the bear be bought from him, I’m sure he’d sell his own grandmother if the price was right!! What a heartless piece of garbage, free Ben and all the other animals that he possess to give them some dignity for the rest of their lives.

  • Julia Ertl says:

    We have to stop this horrible People!Animals are No toys for Fun!!!

  • Mukesh says:

    This is really inhuman and I agree to the comment by Jamie that no human would like to be laocked up in the jail in a tiny cell like Ben has been locked up. This really shows that no religion or prophet can reform humans and there barbaric instincts… Who are we? Humans or barbarians looking like humans?

  • Martin Sky says:

    Right to arm Bears, free Ben to a safe larger habitat.

  • Jane Shephard says:

    Please free Ben this is cruel and inhumane for him to be living in these conditions.

  • carola danielsson, Sweden says:

    This is not a way for a bear to live. Please set him free, as he is suffering. How can you alow this to happen. Are you kidding me???

  • Ana says:

    If this is done to a human the whole world protests, if it is done to an animal nothing happens. Stop this cruel abuse now! If we don’t care for animals we cannot call ourselves human.

  • Rob LeLacheur says:

    Please Support

  • Jane Kenyon Bell says:

    This is no life for any animal. The people who go visit him are just as responsible for his plight as the people who force him to stay in a cage all day.

  • Tracy says:

    I wish people would stop supporting this behavior. By going and watching circuses and such is just allowing it to go on. If enough peole stop going to these they won’t be making moneey so maybe the cycle can STOP.

  • Andrea Kremin says:

    Keeping this bea in such a confined cage with no stimulation or socialization is abuse. RELEASE Ben from these horrible curcumstances!

  • Annica Wahlman says:


  • Christine says:

    Please give this innocent creature a better life. Would you let a human being be treated this way? If not, then why do you think it’s ok to treat an animal this way? May God forgive you.

  • Ash says:

    That poor bear needs to be in a better place, with more room and freedom.

  • Maritza says:

    This is inhumane. There is mininal compassion with wildlife when things like this come to light. This bear needs to be free as described the bear was declawed therefore needs to be protected although FREED from the CAGE. District Attorney William West needs to stand his ground and not allow such cruelty to continue in his state!

  • lori says:

    this barbaric abuse of animals needs to STOP NOW!

  • Jamie says:

    People need to understand these are WILD animals who deserve to live free in theand not caged in!!! i dont think there is a single person out there who enjoys being locked up in jail in a tiny cell well it is the exact same thing with these poor animals! so whoever the “owner” of these animals is, deserves to be in a tiny jail cell the same amount of time he’s had these animals caged in!!!!

  • Tina Jackson says:

    These people who treat animals in this way disgust me they have no compassion at all how can treating animals like this still be allowed to happen PLEASE SET THIS BEAR FREE NOW !

  • Debby Susong says:

    Ben needs to be out of the cage. He clearly can’t be let out into the wild, since he has been DECLAWED!!!!! But there has to be a nice place where he can be free to roam around and be a bear and not an attraction!!

  • Nick says:

    This is horrible, how can we go on treating nature like this? what does it say about our species?

  • Jo Ann says:

    Whoever owns this bear is capable of harm to a child. all animal abusers are. disgusting and a crying shame.

  • Ruth Fox says:

    please give this poor bear some dignity and free him from these vile people please