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Bob Barker Is a Bear’s Best Bud

Written by PETA | June 8, 2009
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Bob Barker

We all know what a friend beloved TV host Bob Barker is to animals. From ending every episode of The Price Is Right with a plea to spay and neuter animal companions to keeping the showcases fur-free, he’s never been afraid to speak up for animals.

Not to get all “the price is wrong” on you or anything, but in Cherokee, North Carolina, there are three “tourist attractions” that keep bears in grossly inhumane conditions. The neurotic, hungry bears are confined to desolate concrete pits in which they pace back and forth, walk in endless circles, cry and whimper, fight with one another, and beg tourists to toss them a morsel of food.

What do these tourist traps have to do with Bob Barker? As a compassionate person of Native American descent (he spent much of his youth at the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota), Bob has requested a meeting with the principal chief of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation to discuss an end to the town’s displays of bears in pits and cages.

As he wrote to Principal Chief Hicks, “Cherokee has so much to offer, such as its beautiful mountains, museums, cultural and historical exhibits, Native American shops, friendly residents, and casino. The caged bears may have been a big attraction at one time but are now seen as an embarrassment to the community and should be permanently closed down.”

To join Bob in asking that the cruel bear pits be closed down, please send a respectful letter to Principal Chief Hicks letting him know that bears should be respected, not left in a pit to languish.

Written by Amanda Schinke

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  • Gail says:

    I cannot believe the attitude of Jack Hanna and the CEO of Sea World.. The word “Conservation” is the only thing that Hanna hides behine.Not one word was metion on how Tilly wad kidnapped from his family and how they are on antidepressants and petobismol. No one would mention how Sea World pays million of dollars to injured trainers.How unhappy is Tilly and his familyit’s unnaturalwhat would God say.Shame on you and allow those whales to live the rest of their lives in a refudge of not entertaining people.There had to be telltale signs but they were ignored.So Tilly had to get worldwide attention by killing his trainer.Sad pathetic greedy idiots

  • evelyn domondon says:

    Bob Barker is just too AWESOME! Have been watching him on the Price is Right and his genuine character explains it all and why I have much respect for his work in supporting the animal rights movement! Thank you for Inspiring me as a child and now I’m a vegetarian and preparing to start my own charitable organization to help the animal rights movement. Thank you!

  • marina robbins says:

    Bob is Barking up the wrong tree. He should have spoken to the people who own the businesses that house these bears. Going to the Chief is like going to the President to close the zoos in America.

  • bobby says:

    why is bob trying to get ever one to boycott Cherokee he just need to lever cherokee and are bears along if he moves them they well day you take a bear that been in the bare museums and one that is out in the woods see which one is better health…..

  • Bobby says:

    I am a resident of Cherokee NC and i see first hand the way things are at the bear museums. They are not inhumane but they are a huge attraction not only for tourists but local residents as well. As for myself my family and friends we love going to see the bears it’s a big part of our life and i’d hate to see them go.

  • Nathan says:

    Laurie J. thank you for your post. The Eastern Band of the Cherokee had once talked about creating a wildlife preserve here on tribal lands. Using our beautiful tribal lands to create a place for visitors to see these animals in their natural setting. It would also benefit to educate people on how these animals impeacted Cherokee life. I ask you to write Chief Hicks and encourage him to push this wildlife preserve from a thought to a reality.

  • Nathan says:

    As a member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee I agree that the conditions of these bears is horrible. The bear is the sacred animal of the Cherokee and I know that we as a tribe would not intentionally hurt them. I believe ignorance plays a major role in how these bear and other animals are cared for at these places. This is a very upsetting matter and something that should have been acted upon years ago. I ask you not to slam the tribe but offer help and encouragement that will help us to establish a proper Humane Society. I have contacted PETA and hope future talks will lead to establishing proper animal humane laws and getting our animal shelter up to par.

  • Linda says:

    I am sooo happy someone is taking this cause up. Many years ago I came to Cherokee and saw these bear pits by accident and have never gotten over it. Years later I now live in Asheville and have been to Cherokee many times and it still saddens me that the pits are still there. I think Chief Hicks is a good person and I would hope he would do something about this. I to thought the Indians cared about nature and the wonderful wildlife were lucky to have in our area.

  • cara says:

    meg your story is so awful. i wonder if there is anyone you can call to report the illegal sale of exotic animals. i wonder if PETA would be interested in researching this specific truck stop. white tigers are highly endangered and one of the most majestic creatures on the planet. perhaps you could contact an organization who deals with specifically with punishing individuals who threatenabuse endangered species??

  • Laurie J. Ibarra says:

    Dear Sirs If you must have an exhibit to attract tourists do you think you could upgrade the one you have for the bears? Perhaps release them to a large acre farm with close circuit TV so they can be watched in the wild? Bears in the wild are so much more interesting! Than you. Laurie Ibarra

  • KBurton says:

    I am responding to the Bob Barker Best Bud message. writing to ask if you would please show compassion for the welfare of these bears.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Unfortunately there are places like this all over the country. When I was touring the United States in 2001 my husband and I had to stop to repair our RV at a place called “The White Tiger Truck Stop” in Baton Rouge Louisiana. Guess why they called it that. Yep they had white tigers caged in one of the buildings which you could pay a WHOLE DOLLAR to see and they were auctioning off tiger cubs to the truckers. I asked one of the workers what really happened to the cubs they sold I had trouble believing this was not a joke and I was told that what the trucker decided to do with the cub after he or she bought it was their business. They did not follow up on the cubs well being. When the RV was repaired we could not get out of there fast enough. All roadside attractions need to be shut down.

  • Mara says:

    I love Bob. I wish he would come up to Eureka California and free Rosemary the bear from her solitary confinement in a cement hole. The Sequoia Park Zoo is hideous and should be closed down. It kept Bill the chimp in solitary confinement where he died a lonely death.

  • Cindy says:

    Growing up I would watch The Price is Right show. I always admired Bob Barker because he is so compassionate towards animals.Thank You Bob for who you are and what you stand for!! I’m going to write to the Chief and ask that the bear pits be closedonce and for all.I would love to visit Cherokee and see the museums and the living history village.But the bear pits would leave a bitter memory of my visit to Cherokee

  • Sarah says:

    We love you Bob. If only everybody could be like you.

  • kelly says:

    I thought the Indians respected nature and wild animals? This is very disappointing. This sideshow act thing is very much a European thing.

  • dawn says:

    This is so sad but this has been going on for many years. Western north carolina there some towns that have no animal control.Dogs and cats toss out like trash that nobody wants.I have seen these places and so sad poor animals and the way they live.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    This is not surprising in light of the fact that Bob Barker is a longstanding humane vegetarian whose donated enormous amounts of money to animal welfare causes.

  • Kathryn Baker says:

    Dear Principal Chief Hicks I would like to request that you discontinue the exhibit of bears in concrete pits in Cherokee N.C. As a person with some Native American blood I am sorry to see animals shown and kept in such sad circumstances by Native Americans. I would be unhappy to see anyone keep bears in such circumstances. Please consider discontinuing the bear exhibit. Thank you

  • roxanne says:

    I love Bob Barker. I always watch him in Price is Right as a child and I love him. I never knew how much he loved animals and now I am so Proud to be his greatest fan.

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