Feds Cite Three Bears General Store for Denying Elderly Bear Adequate Veterinary Care

Latest Citation Prompts PETA to Renew Call for Notorious Roadside Zoo to Send Bears to Reputable Sanctuary

For Immediate Release:
September 16, 2015

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Pigeon Forge, Tenn. – The latest inspection of Three Bears General Store—a tourist trap in Pigeon Forge that confines bears to a virtually barren, decrepit concrete pit—has found the roadside zoo in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). According to the inspection report, Three Bears denied adequate veterinary care to an older female Himalayan black bear named Honey, whose thinning hair, glazed eyes, and difficulty moving had apparently not been treated or even evaluated by a veterinarian.

This latest in a long list of AWA violations—which also includes keeping bears in filthy enclosures strewn with animal waste—has prompted PETA to renew its call for Three Bears to retire the animals on display to an accredited wildlife sanctuary.

“For years, these bears have been denied the opportunity to den, forage for fresh food, or do anything else that’s natural and important to them,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA stands ready to help transfer them to a sanctuary where they’ll be able to roam, dig, and simply be bears on acres of lush terrain, free from harassment from gawking tourists.”

Last year, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—tipped off the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to Three Bears owner Bill DeLozier’s illegal importation of two bears into the state. The bears were surrendered and transferred to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado. Photos and video of the bears’ rescue are available here.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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