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6-Year-Old Uses Birthday Party to Rally Support for Tormented Animals
For Immediate Release:March 14, 2013
Contact:Shakira Croce 202-483-7382
Leland, N.C. -- Most 6-year-old kids celebrate their
birthdays with presents, games, and lots of treats. But Leland resident Riley
Etheridge isn't your average 6-year-old. Riley, who attends kindergarten at
The Roger Bacon Academy, made good use of her birthday party by having all her
friends write letters to politicians and others urging them to do whatever they
can to shut down the state's shameful bear pits and send the animals to a
sanctuary. For her leadership in seeking justice for the bears suffering at
Chief Saunooke Bear Park in Cherokee and other bear pits, Riley is receiving a
Compassionate Kid Award from PETA Kids.
"The kindness and drive of this 6-year-old should serve
as an inspiration to people of all ages," says Director of Youth
Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. "Riley reminds all of us that young
people often help look out for the most vulnerable among us."
Between July and October 2012, PETA's
undercover investigation of Chief Saunooke Bear Park revealed the systemic
neglect and abuse of bears. They were deprived of food so that they would beg
tourists for pieces of stale bread and were so stressed from being confined to
barren concrete pits that they paced aimlessly and chewed on the pits' metal
bars, causing their teeth to break. At nearby Cherokee Bear Zoo, bears languish
in nearly identical circumstances and are deprived of everything that's natural
and important to them. There is one hopeful sign of change in the midst of this
misery: Tribal elders have proposed a resolution to close all the bear pits
under their control. The proposal is pending.
Riley—who can always count on the guidance and steadfast
support of her compassionate grandmother Rhonda Hennis—will receive a framed
certificate from PETA Kids.
For more information, please visit PETAKids.com.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.