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Mommy, a 700-Pound Black Bear, and Me

Written by PETA | December 2, 2009

File this one in the “Near-Death Experiences During My Infancy” section of the family photo album:




This picture was taken at a circus during intermission by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspector who was responding to a complaint that PETA had filed against the traveling bear act. The USDA cited the bear exhibitor for unsafe handling, but don’t count on the federal government to protect you—this reckless handler and many others like her are still in business.

Photo-ops at circuses and traveling zoos featuring captive bears, tiger and lion cubs, primates, snakes, and other animals are all too common, and they’re recipes for disaster. Wild animals are easily startled and routinely act on instinct. These natural instincts can mean that the animals defend themselves with strong arms and legs, sharp teeth, and long claws when they feel threatened. Handlers cannot protect themselves, let alone the general public, from a frightened or angry wild animal. Members of the public, including children, can be and have been harmed during these irresponsible photo-ops. If you see or hear about a show near you in which wild animals are being used for photo-ops with the public, take action to stop it. You could be saving someone’s life.

Written by Logan Scherer

Commenting is closed.
  • Shelley says:

    sorry..but Victoria are you for real?

  • Bilious says:

    mmm food for thought. i wonder if the complainant was more concerned for the child or the poor bear being put to sleep?

  • sarah says:

    yes something MIGHT happen but not likely i would have my pic taken with him

  • Diane says:

    I pray for a world someday that has no STUPID people in it!

  • Lisa says:

    I don’t understand how the people involved in such activity can justify what they are doing. How do they sleep at night? If only animals had the opportunity to do the things to humans that some humans to do them…without getting killed. It amazes me that these large powerful animals do not fight back more often. When I see videos of animals who fight back I’m cheering for the animal…but then they get killed. I hate that human life is considered more valuable. Then again they did not go down without a fight there’s certainly some victory in that.

  • Joanna says:

    Given the very small screen that bear could reach around it and be at the childs face in half a second and not one person could prevent it from doing that. The child is a victim as well as the bear in this scene.

  • lindsay says:

    that is so sweet!! i bet those moms r so nervous havin those kids so close to that bear tho!!! id b but it is so sweet!!!!

  • Victoria says:

    Then the mother will be absolutley livid when the bear attacks her child. Just as the mother who lets her 3 year old son play unsupervised with a pitbull will want the dog killed after he attacks the child. Animals act on naturual instincts and those around them should act on theirswith caution and common sense. In this case wild animals should never be allowed for “photo ops” with anybody and circuses and other events should never use them.

  • Merry says:

    Looks pretty safe to me .. after all there is a quarterinch thick sheet of plexiglass between the baby and the bear. sarcasm alert that bear’s claws and physical strength would allow it to cut thru plexiglass like a hot knife thru vegan butter

  • Leigh says:

    Such majestic beautiful animals degraded by being made to wear stupid costumes and perform stupid tricks

  • Rad_Rosa89 says:

    You know you kind of figures that they would have learned their lesson te first few times people got attack.. what will it take? and it’s unfair how if a wild animal kills someone they are put to death for doing what comes natural to them..

  • simara says:

    yes good points AND also the fact that these animals are not there by choice there are imprisoned often beaten or abused as well as neglected in many other “common” ways.They are not performing out of love of their crafts as the humans are they are forced into slavery of doing so.Reminds me of the early freak show days where they had humans deemed “weird” in display …so very sad.If a family really wants to appreciate animals they should go vegan.

  • Kelley says:

    Holy Crapmaybe PETA needed to call CPS!

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    This is very interesting…a friend just sent me an email captioned “Next Time I’ll Take The Pictures and You Free The Bear” featuring in sequence photos of a forest ranger releasing a large bear back into the wild. The ranger is on top of the cage which is in the bed of a pickup. He releases the door the bear jumps out climbs on top of the cage knocks the ranger to the ground and proceeds to maul his leg. Several people manage to pull the bear of of him and he does survive the last photo shows the ranger sitting down with a disgusted angry look on his face while another ranger is treating the horrible gashes on his leg. Then I see the picture of a huge bear next to a tiny baby and my blood runs cold.