PETA Calls On Feds to Investigate Roadside Zoo Where Bears Live in Concrete Pit

Animals Have Suffered in Cruel Tourist Trap for Decades, Says Group

For Immediate Release:
March 18, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Pigeon Forge, Tenn. – Three Bears General Store in Pigeon Forge is notorious for violating federal animal-protection laws and has already been fined twice by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for repeatedly violating the Animal Welfare Act. Now, PETA would like to see history repeat itself. That’s because the group sent a complaint this morning to the USDA asking that it investigate a report by a recent visitor that the bears are being forced to eat and drink contaminated food and water and have inadequate space in their virtually barren concrete pit.

“In the wild, bears are active and spend their time exploring diverse terrain, foraging for a wide variety of foods, and digging in soft earth, brush, and leaves,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “The bear pit at Three Bears General Store doesn’t have so much as a blade of grass.”

Visitors to this Tennessee tourist trap pelt bears with broken dog biscuits and chunks of fruit. The bears have nowhere to find privacy from onlookers during the day and apparently have to drink from and bathe in the same water source. If bears are slow to come out of their night pens, they are locked in for the rest of the day.

The bears were trapped in their holding pens when the building burned down around them in 2008. Instead of closing this roadside zoo down once and for all, the owners rebuilt the exhibit.

For more information and to see PETA’s letter to the USDA, please visit PETA’s blog.


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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