‘I’m Not a Photo Prop’ PETA Ads Slam Oswald’s Bear Ranch

For Immediate Release:
May 24, 2021

David Perle 202-483-7382

Newberry, Mich. – Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, PETA is running ads in the Northern Express and with The Ticker warning people that vulnerable cubs suffer when they’re forced into photo ops and public handling encounters at Oswald’s Bear Ranch, the notorious roadside zoo that will open again this summer. The ads urge everyone to avoid the place at all costs.

The majority of the bears acquired by Oswald’s in the last 20 years were purposely bred and stolen from their mothers—even though Oswald’s misleadingly markets itself as a “rescue refuge.” Cubs at Oswald’s have been seen pacing, crying out, and biting cages in apparent distress, and the roadside zoo has been cited for physically abusing a cub, allowing a cub to injure a guest, and endangering children by permitting them to hand-feed cubs.

“Oswald’s Bear Ranch will stop at nothing to make a buck off a terrified bear cub’s back,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Debbie Metzler. “PETA is asking anyone with a heart to stand up to this abuse by leaving wild animals out of their plans this holiday weekend and every other day.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that bears at Oswald’s have been killed in terrible ways. In April 2019, a bear named Sophie was shot dead after escaping from an enclosure. Other bears have died after becoming trapped in a collapsed den or suffering a fatal “drug overdose,” and some have even been slaughtered.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 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