Damning Video Shows Cubs Crying Out, Pacing at Oswald’s Bear Ranch

PETA Calls On Feds to Investigate Michigan Roadside Zoo for Cruel Photo Ops, Confining Bear Cubs to Wet Concrete, and More

For Immediate Release:
October 10, 2017

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Newberry, Mich. – Armed with damning video footage, PETA sent a complaint today requesting that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigate Oswald’s Bear Ranch in Newberry for numerous apparent federal Animal Welfare Act violations.

In the letter, PETA points to three bear cub sisters, named Ashley, Sophie, and Sassy, who are repeatedly used so that paying customers can have their photos taken with them. They were observed pacing and crying out, and one was repeatedly chewing on the caging—all signs of psychological distress. Two of the cubs were also shown to have thinning hair on their hindquarters, something that veterinarians say is likely a result of being confined exclusively to a wet concrete enclosure with no soft bedding.

“Oswald’s Bear Ranch treats these traumatized cubs as props and forces them to live on hard, wet concrete without basic comfort,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on the authorities to inspect this roadside zoo and require proper veterinary care and enrichment for these suffering cubs.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that Oswald’s Bear Ranch has a history of federal animal-welfare violations and was cited in 2010 for using physical abuse to handle an animal when a USDA inspector witnessed a handler strike a bear cub twice during a photo op.

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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