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Cherokee Chief Should Respect All Bears

Written by Michelle Kretzer | April 18, 2012

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

Unbearable Conditions

The 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.

What You Can Do

Chief 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.

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  • Lisa says:

    I think we would all agree lovely story and glad these bear cubs had another chance of life but im totally with PETA on this one if he can help these bear cubs he needs to try and help the bears languishing in these hell holes these were probably once bear cubs like we saw in the video, maybe he should take his daughter and see if she is happy seeing them confined in a concrete pit.

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