Cloris Leachman’s Plea to Roadside Zoo: Free Aging, Lame Bear From Concrete Pit

Oscar Winner and Arthritis Sufferer Makes Impassioned Appeal to Pennsylvania Facility on Behalf of PETA

For Immediate Release:
October 8, 2018

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Mercer County, Pa. – Iconic actor Cloris Leachman sent the owner of Pymatuning Deer Park a letter today urging her to allow PETA to arrange for the transfer of a 23-year-old bear named Bosco to a reputable sanctuary, noting that he’s showing signs of arthritis—which the 92-year-old herself suffers from—and that the barren concrete pit in which he’s currently forced to live only exacerbates the painful condition.

“Anyone who suffers from arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases knows how every move can be excruciating,” writes Leachman. “I can personally attest to the pain that these conditions cause and can only imagine how life on concrete would be especially miserable. . . . Please, do the right thing for Bosco. Let him live his remaining days in a natural environment, and close the bear pit for good.”

PETA and its expert partners have a long history of safely transporting geriatric bears—including those as old as 30—to reputable sanctuaries. Bosco would be evaluated by a qualified veterinarian prior to his transport, and a move to a reputable sanctuary is likely his only chance at appropriate care and a habitat that will help to relieve, rather than exacerbate, his symptoms.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.” For more information, please visit PETA.org.

Leachman’s letter to Rachelle Sankey, owner of Pymatuning Deer Park, follows.

Rachelle Sankey

Owner

Pymatuning Deer Park

Dear Ms. Sankey,

I’m writing to ask you to consider allowing my friends at PETA to help you transfer the geriatric bear Bosco, who is currently alone, to a reputable sanctuary. Anyone who suffers from arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases knows how every move can be excruciating. I can personally attest to the pain that these conditions cause and can only imagine how life on concrete would be especially miserable.

The female bear who lived with Bosco suffered with arthritis and had terrible difficulty moving. Recent video footage shows that Bosco has started to show signs of this disease as well. The small pen that was added off his concrete pit just doesn’t provide him with the soft earth and grass that he needs to alleviate his aching joints. At a reputable sanctuary, he’d receive the highest standard of medical care and treatment needed and when he’d feel up to it, he’d have plenty of space to roam on natural ground. Instead of begging for scraps of crackers from visitors, he could forage for healthy foods as bears naturally would. He’d also have the opportunity for companionship with other bears.

In the last few years, several small zoos have recognized that bears need to live where they can have rich lives and have chosen to move these intelligent animals from concrete pits and cramped cages into reputable sanctuaries. Please, do the right thing for Bosco. Let him live his remaining days in a natural environment and close the bear pit for good.

Sincerely,

Cloris Leachman

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“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