PETA Uncovers Mistaken Polar Bear Identity, Causing Trouble for Circus

April 2003

Alaska, one of the Suarez Bros. Circus’ “Suarez Seven” polar bears, was rescued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) based on research by PETA that raised questions about the bear’s identity. The USFWS used DNA testing to prove conclusively that Alaska was not, in fact, the polar bear who had been born at Zoo Atlanta as the circus claimed on her import application–a violation of federal law. The USFWS issued a $120,000 fine to the circus and sent Alaska to the Baltimore Zoo, where she could live with another polar bear, named “Magnet.”

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“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind