Follow-Up: New USDA Report Reveals Cramped Concrete Pit, Suffering Bears at Pymatuning

For Immediate Release:
August 19, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

In a rare move, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just released a second report detailing appalling conditions found at Pymatuning Deer Park during its July 20 inspection.

In addition to a severely arthritic bear being allowed to suffer without veterinary care while lions languished amid their own accumulating waste for up to two months, the second report reveals that two bears were imprisoned in a cramped enclosure without adequate surfaces to rub against in order to remove excess fur, leaving both with most of their winter coats well into the summer months. One of them was breathing heavily, a possible indication that she was overheated. In addition, the small space didn’t allow the bears to engage in natural behavior, including climbing, standing, and swimming, and no fresh hay had been provided for them to rest on comfortably.

“The release of two separate USDA inspection reports documenting the neglect of suffering animals at this hellhole is a testament to this facility’s inability to provide the animals imprisoned there with even a minimum standard of care,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Brittany Peet. “Authorities must take action now, before these animals are punished for this facility’s negligence any further.”

Pymatuning is known as one of the last facilities in the country to confine bears in antiquated concrete pits, where they have virtually nothing to do but beg for scraps of food from tourists. PETA has pledged to close every bear pit in the country and has rescued more than 40 bears from lives of deprivation. PETA is calling on Pymatuning to do the right thing by closing its bear pit for good and allowing the animals it’s confining to be retired to reputable sanctuaries.

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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