From Barely Living to Living Like Bears

Published by Jennifer O'Connor.

Thanks once again to the generosity of animal friend Sam Simon, PETA has rescued two Himalayan black bears who were illegally imported into Tennessee by the owner of the Three Bears General Store—a notorious tourist trap in Pigeon Forge that confines bears to a concrete pit.

After learning that the owner of the facility was holding bears at a second location—which turned out to be a decrepit cage in someone’s backyard—PETA submitted a complaint to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which then investigated and charged the owner with illegally importing bears into the state. A deal was struck that allowed us to arrange for the two bears, one male and one female, to be transferred to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado.


Bear in Cage

Because it’s suspected that the female may be pregnant, we arranged for the bears to be spirited from Tennessee to Colorado right away so that she’ll have the opportunity to give birth to her cubs in a cozy den—not on a concrete slab. Three Bears’ owner said that he had acquired the bears in order to breed them and shamelessly admitted that he would have taken the cubs away from their mother as soon as possible after their birth.

Welcome to the Wild Animal Sanctuary

Two Bears Rescued by PETA and Sam Simon in New Home

Bears are extremely intelligent and inquisitive, and they spend most of their time foraging and exploring home ranges of up to hundreds of miles in the wild. In stark contrast, the bears at Three Bears are confined to a tiny concrete pit devoid of even a single blade of grass. All they can do is sleep, pace back and forth, and beg for food from visitors.

What You Can Do

Join PETA in calling on the owner of the Three Bears General Store to close his archaic bear pit for good and send all the remaining bears to a sanctuary.

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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