PETA has a message for tourists, and it’s coming courtesy of Oscar-nominated Triple 9 and Manchester by the Sea star Casey Affleck: Stay away from tourist traps that display bears in barren pits and tiny pens.
Bernard, PETA’s new life-size mechanical bear voiced by Affleck, is going on a nationwide tour this summer to visit towns near bear pits and roadside zoos. As Bernard stands on his hind legs, Affleck shares his experience of being trapped in a concrete pit, begging for food from tourists and breaking his teeth on metal cage bars.
More than 1,000 bears are currently being held in inadequate conditions in nearly 300 roadside zoos, bear pits, and other outfits across the country. While bears in the wild have home ranges of up to hundreds of miles, captive bears are routinely confined to cramped and barren concrete pits or to cages the size of a dog kennel, leading to psychological distress, arthritis, pressure sores, and other painful, debilitating conditions. Since 2012, PETA has rescued more than 40 captive bears and transferred them to reputable sanctuaries.
What You Can Do
The next time you pass a roadside zoo or bear pit, please keep on driving. These cruel operations stay in business only because people patronize them.