Idaho Attorney General Is Asked to Investigate Yellowstone Bear World’s Bogus Marketing Claims

For Immediate Release:
May 9, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Boise, Idaho

PETA fired off a letter to Idaho Attorney General Raúl R. Labrador this morning calling on him to investigate Yellowstone Bear World for what appear to be violations of the Idaho Consumer Protection Act, noting that the bear-breeding and -selling operation—which charges people to feed and pose for photos with months-old bear cubs prematurely removed from their mothers—is actively duping consumers by making false and misleading claims about the nature of its business and trying to pass itself off as a sanctuary.

Public records show that since 2012, Yellowstone Bear World has transferred nearly 100 bears to notorious exotic-animal dealer Gregg Woody, who has sent dozens of animals—including bears—to slaughter. Yet the company has repeatedly marketed itself as a “sanctuary” and has assured paying visitors that the cubs remain there for life—even going as far as to provide consumers with false updates about the fates of specific bears. The for-profit breeding operation has also routinely referred to its exploitative photo ops—practices banned in other states—as “fundraisers,” a term associated with charity organizations.

A cub at Yellowstone Bear World—deprived of the opportunity to nurse from their mother—attempts to nurse on an employee’s arm. Credit: PETA

“This operation traumatizes mother bears and their cubs, selling them to seedy animal dealers with zero regard for their fate, which may mean their eventual slaughter,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler. “PETA is urging the attorney general to prevent Yellowstone Bear World from duping the public into unwittingly supporting its cruel and exploitative enterprise.”

The complaint also notes that the drive-through park is less than half the size it claims to be in its promotional materials. In a Yelp review, one customer described Yellowstone Bear World as “the epitome of false advertising,” noting that the many adult bears confined at the facility have a limited area in which to roam.

A 2022 PETA undercover investigation into Yellowstone Bear World documented that a supervisor at the facility threatened to throw a cub across the room and rip out her teeth, a cub with a broken leg was denied prescribed treatment, and infant cubs attempted to nurse on the chins, necks, fingers, and arms of staff—behavior often seen in animals prematurely separated from their mothers.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—points out thatEvery Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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