VIDEOS: These Bears Were Used for Entertainment—Now, They’re Thriving

Published by PETA.

PETA has been working hard to help retire bears used for entertainment to reputable sanctuaries—and these three new videos show them thriving in their new homes.

Five bears once used in the Texas-based traveling act The Great Bear Show arrived at the Keepers of the Wild sanctuary in Arizona earlier this month, and this just-released video shows them swimming in a spacious pool, lying on the grass near their dens, and napping under shady trees. It’s a world apart from their lives on the road, when Cindi was repeatedly found pacing, a sign of psychological distress; Andy was kept on hard concrete floors, despite having painful arthritis; and Barney showed signs of an irritating skin condition for years.

Sammy and Tibor were carted around the country for years with Steeple’s Bears, forced to pose for photos and perform confusing and even painful tricks. But now, a new video shows them at the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, where they’re finally able to nap in the woods and explore vast stretches of natural terrain.

When Lily was brought to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, she was the most obese bear the staff had ever seen, having languished for 10 years in a barren, squalid, often waste-filled cage at Maryland’s Deer Haven Mini Zoo before PETA was able to orchestrate her release. This video catches up with her a year and a half later in her sanctuary home, where—thanks to lots of exercise, healthy food, and the opportunity to hibernate—she’s shed at least 200 pounds.

These bears’ astonishing transformations show just how much animals suffer when kept in captivity and denied everything that’s natural and important to them, all for fleeting human amusement. PETA is calling on caring people everywhere to take their stories to heart and never visit any attraction that uses bears or other animals for entertainment.

Help PETA Stand Up for Bears

Bears are highly intelligent, curious animals who have evolved to roam vast distances, yet in captivity, they’re typically confined to barren cages, often on concrete slabs that can cause arthritis, paw-pad issues, and pressure sores as well as severe psychological distress. While PETA has made great progress, successfully helping to retire 72 bears in the past five years, there’s still more work to be done. Nearly 1,000 bears continue to suffer in tiny cages, pits, and traveling shows across the country.

Click to help bears at Castle’s Bears, Welde’s Big Bear Show, Wilson’s Wild Animal Park, Pymatuning Deer Park, and Three Bears General Store, and click the button below to tell the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ban bear pits:

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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