Oswald’s Bear Ranch Earns ‘Pants on Fire’ Award From PETA

For Immediate Release:
January 27, 2021

David Perle 202-483-7382

Newberry, Mich. “Pants on Fire” awards are on their way from PETA to 10 companies that are guilty of humane washing—that is, trying to deceive customers about their use and abuse of animals—and Oswald’s Bear Ranch is among them.

Oswald’s earned the dishonor by calling itself a “rescue refuge” even though an overwhelming majority of the bears it has acquired in the last 20 years were apparently purposely bred and stolen from their mothers to be used in lucrative photo ops. 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. In April 2019, a bear named Sophie was shot dead after escaping from an enclosure.

“PETA won’t stand by and let Oswald’s Bear Ranch claim that acquiring bear cubs who were stolen from their mothers somehow makes it a ‘place of rescue,’” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Debbie Metzler. “No true sanctuary uses vulnerable bear cubs as photo props.”

Other recipients of the “Pants on Fire” awards include Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, which advertises its eggs with photos of hens on rolling green hills even though PETA uncovered thousands of hens crammed into a shed at a Nellie’s “free range” supplier, and Canada Goose, which claims to care about animals while selling fur from coyotes, who can endure excruciating pain in steel traps, and down feathers from birds who are violently killed.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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