You Won’t Believe This Rescued Bear’s Stunning Weight-Loss Transformation

Published by PETA.
Updated September 17, 2018:

For almost a decade, a bear named Lily was kept inside a tiny, filthy cage at Deer Haven Mini Zoo in Maryland. She lived amid her own waste, couldn’t hibernate, and was denied nearly everything that’s natural and important to bears. She was also morbidly obese, likely from being denied the opportunity to exercise. She was suffering, so PETA stepped in to rescue her.

In 2016, after receiving a barrage of phone calls from concerned PETA supporters, Deer Haven Mini Zoo agreed to retire Lily to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado. When she first arrived at her new home, she was the most obese bear the sanctuary staff and her veterinarian had ever seen. Her stomach dragged along the ground as she walked.

But today, there’s good news! After acclimating to her new habitat, following a healthy diet, and having the opportunity to hibernate, Lily has healed—and she’s lost at least 200 pounds. Watch this uplifting video to see her dramatic weight-loss transformation:

In just the last five years, PETA has successfully rescued 72 bears from backyard cages and roadside zoos, where they’re typically displayed in barren enclosures on concrete slabs, which can cause arthritis, pressure sores, and severe psychological distress. But there’s still more work to be done, as nearly 1,000 bears continue to suffer in tiny cages, pits, and traveling shows across the country.

You can join PETA’s efforts to help more bears like Lily. Click the links below to learn how you can get active for animals today:

Originally posted on November 7, 2016:

After a decade in a cramped, barren, and squalid corn crib, a bear named Lily has been rescued following a PETA campaign. She is about 10 years old and has lived—if you can call it that—at a dismal Maryland roadside zoo called Deer Haven Mini Zoo ever since she was transferred from the notorious Natural Bridge Zoo in Virginia as a cub.

The corn crib was often full of piles of feces and puddles of urine. It contained nothing else except a pitiful tire swing. Even the owner of the roadside zoo admitted that the structure was not an appropriate habitat for a bear, but that didn’t stop him from keeping Lily in one. Asiatic black bears like her enjoy climbing and exploring, but she could take no more than a few steps in any direction.

After being barraged with phone calls from concerned PETA supporters, Deer Haven Mini Zoo agreed to retire her to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, where she’ll first be released into a small enclosure that will allow her to acclimate to the new sights, sounds, and smells. Once she gets her bearings (no pun intended), she’ll be released into a larger habitat, where she’ll have acres in which to roam, climb, and explore for the first time in her life.

What You Can Do

Lily is the 57th bear rescued by PETA from squalid roadside zoos in the past four years. There are hundreds of others living in similarly deplorable conditions all over the country. Please ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture to take action for bears.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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