Caught: Tregembo Animal Park Cited for Sick Bear, Broken Enclosure

Feds Take Action Following PETA Complaint Over Lack of Veterinary Care for Bear Who May Be Blind

For Immediate Release:
May 28, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Wilmington, N.C. – Roadside zoo Tregembo Animal Park has just been slapped with a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) citation in the wake of a formal PETA complaint regarding a visibly suffering black bear, whom a visitor spotted languishing with severe facial lesions and painful irritation to his eyes, nose, and mouth (pictured here). After reviewing photographs of the animal, the PETA Foundation’s wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Heather Rally, reported that the bear appears to have an extreme and chronic case of inflammation of the cornea (keratitis)—meaning that the animal has been experiencing so much inflammation and irritation of the cornea for so long that the clear tissue of the cornea has actually been replaced by fibrous tissue. As a result, the bear is most likely completely blind and has been in pain for a long time. The USDA investigated two days after PETA’s complaint and, stating that the bear was “suffering,” cited the facility for failing to provide the animal with adequate veterinary care, a direct violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

“Mistreatment, such as Tregembo Animal Park’s failure to meet even the minimum standards of care for this bear, is commonplace at facilities like this across the country,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on people who care about animals to keep their families far away from this hellhole and all roadside zoos.”

Tregembo’s long history of AWA violations doesn’t stop here—the facility was also cited in the same report for a goat enclosure that had protruding nail heads and loose wires, which could cause injury to animals. PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” has also heard from visitors who have documented squalid living conditions for animals—including filthy water receptacles and tiny cages. A bear, a binturong, and a serval were also documented showing signs of psychological distress, including constant pacing.

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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