Happening Now: Bears Freed From Roadside Zoos Are Sanctuary-Bound

PETA Celebrates Settlement in Lawsuit Against Tregembo Animal Park

For Immediate Release:
December 19, 2017

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Wilmington, N.C. – Two bears formerly on display in virtually barren cages at Tregembo Animal Park are en route today to a new life in naturalistic, multi-acre habitats at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado. Their rescue is the result of a settlement reached in a lawsuit filed in August by two North Carolina residents—who were represented by PETA and two local law firms—alleging that the roadside zoo’s treatment of the bears, named Ben and Booger, violated North Carolina’s anti-cruelty statute. The settlement agreement also permits the plaintiffs to challenge the roadside zoo in court, should it seek to acquire any new bears.

“The bears’ days of languish in tiny cages are over,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is thrilled that they are headed to a spacious sanctuary, where they’ll finally be able to roam, swim, dig, and just be bears.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that at Tregembo Animal Park, Ben and Booger were confined to enclosures that were less than 0.0004 percent of the minimum territory that a bear would cover in nature. Booger paced repeatedly—a symptom of mental anguish caused by deprivation and distress—and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited the facility in 2015 for failing to provide Ben, who is obese, with appropriate veterinary care for severe facial lesions that left him with scarring on both corneas.

PETA has helped rescue 65 bears, including Ben and Booger, from dire situations in the past five years.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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