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Woman Gives Fingers to Caged Bear

Written by PETA | March 10, 2010

The cost of keeping wild animals in captivity is always more than the price of admission to a zoo or amusement park. Just ask the woman who lost two of her fingers after trying to feed a caged black bear at a Wisconsin zoo last week. The 47-year-old woman—who was with her 3-year-old granddaughter and boyfriend—had her thumb and forefinger bitten off, and two other fingers were partially severed. The boyfriend was also bitten while trying to pry open the bear’s jaw to get the animal to release the woman’s hand, but he didn’t lose any fingers.


emples / CC by 2.0
black bear


Bears in captivity spend much of their time pacing, walking in tight circles, swaying or rolling their heads, and showing other signs of psychological distress. These behaviors are not just symptoms of boredom—they indicate profound depression caused by being denied everything that is natural and important to them. Bears, like any wild animal, are unpredictable and will try to defend themselves if they feel threatened and are unable to escape—sometimes with serious or deadly consequences.

News of this perilous encounter comes less than two weeks after Tilikum—the imprisoned orca—killed a SeaWorld trainer. It’s just further evidence that patrons of zoos or any facilities that display captive animals are not only supporting the mental, physical, and emotional torment of animals, they are risking their own safety as well.

Written by Logan Scherer

Commenting is closed.
  • Rad_Rosa89 says:

    people keep getting more and more stupid when it comes to wild animals thinking they’re harmless..

  • Judy Smart says:

    There is never any shortage of idiots!

  • gloria taylor says:

    How stupid can you be.. And with her grandchild..I hope they do not put this bear down because of her stupid stunt…

  • Andre Inglis says:

    It is the zoo’s fault by exploiting these animals for profit in the first place. I think the zoo should be sued for not having a proper holding cell. Obiviously people are going to try to feed the animals and many throw rocks and try to poke them and torment them.

  • larry mesa says:

    Katt Williams said it right!! NSFW but is very funny!!

  • Danielle says:

    and the sad part is they will blame it on the bear and put him down but the bear did nothing wrong.

  • shannon says:

    The Minneapolis Star Tribune article about this incident also mentioned that the woman was kinda drunk when it happened. Okay who in their right mind gets s$faced before noon and then takes their grandkid to a zoo? If I was the kid’s mom there’s no way I’d ever let Grandma take him anywhere without me being present. Great example she was setting for the kid there.

  • Aneliese says:

    Hope she learned her lesson.

  • erica says:

    this lady is out of her mind? this is the most ridiculous thing ive ever heard!!!! how in the world do you dare to feed a bear?

  • Kurt K says:

    Of course this wasn’t the bears fault. Apparenlty the woman and boyfriend were both intoxicated at the time as well. It certainly wasn’t the zoo’s fault either. There are signs that clearly state DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FEED THE BEARS. I don’t know how you make it any more clear than that.

  • sarah says:

    this was not the Bears fault or the zoos but the ladys who apperantly was a few cards short of a full deck.. you dont try to feed a bear! either in captivity or the wild. this has nothing to do with the fact the bear is in captivity. this has to do with her stupidity