Bear’s Death Prompts Appeal to Three Bears General Store

PETA Urges Facility to Retire Surviving Animals to a Reputable Sanctuary

For Immediate Release:
August 26, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Pigeon Forge, Tenn. – Following the recent death of a bear named Mandy at Three Bears General Store, PETA sent a letter this morning appealing to the facility’s owner to retire the remaining bears to a reputable sanctuary, where they would be able to climb, dig, forage, explore vast terrain, walk great distances, and engage in other natural types of behavior.

“This bear died without being able to feel the soft ground beneath her feet, dig her own den, or live as a bear should in any way,” says PETA Foundation Director Brittany Peet. “Bears aren’t tourist-trap tchotchkes, and PETA is calling on the store owner not to let the surviving ones die in a concrete pit, too.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

PETA’s letter to Bill DeLozier, owner of Three Bears General Store, follows.

August 26, 2019

Bill DeLozier


Three Bears General Store

Dear Mr. DeLozier,

I’m writing on behalf of PETA and its more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide following the recent death of Mandy, who was forced to spend her life suffering in a pit at your store, without being able to feel the soft ground beneath her feet, dig her own den, or live like a bear should in any way. The remaining bears deserve better: Will you please retire them to a reputable sanctuary?

In a virtually barren concrete pit with nothing to do but stare at the walls and beg tourists for food at your store, these animals are denied opportunities for doing everything that makes their lives meaningful, such as climbing, digging, foraging, exploring vast terrain, and walking great distances.

At a reputable sanctuary, they would have space to roam and explore over natural ground, which greatly improves their health and well-being. They’d have opportunities to hibernate in a large, naturalistic habitat, and they wouldn’t be confined as a tourist attraction in a concrete pit.

Please stop treating the bears as if they were trinkets in your store and retire Papa, Katie, and Smokey to a reputable sanctuary so that they don’t die in a concrete pit as Mandy did. PETA is able to assist with transfer arrangements and costs.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Brittany Peet, Esq.

Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement

PETA Foundation

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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