UFO Festivalgoers to Experience ‘Close Encounter’ … With PETA Message

Group Will Ask Everyone to Care for Bears, Avoid Roadside Zoo

For Immediate Release:
June 30, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Roswell, N.M. – On Saturday, UFO Festival attendees can anticipate a “sighting” of another sort: a PETA-identified driving object—that is, a mobile billboard—reminding everyone to fly right past the city-owned Spring River Park & Zoo without stopping. The floating billboard features an image of one of the notorious roadside zoo’s two bears, confined to a concrete pit, even though bears need to walk on soft ground, explore vast territories, and forage. 

“Bears at this decrepit roadside zoo are forced to live in an archaic pit, unable to roam or engage in other types of natural behavior,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler. “PETA is urging UFO festivalgoers to respect other life forms by avoiding this notorious roadside zoo and is asking Roswell officials to retire the bears to an accredited sanctuary.”

Spring River has a long history of failing to meet the minimal requirements of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Its citations include failing to maintain an adequate perimeter fence around the facility; failing to provide the equipment needed to treat a stumbling, underweight longhorn steer with overgrown hooves; and failing to maintain structurally sound enclosures, which allowed a black bear and a beaver to escape, the latter of whom was never found. The violations came years after the city unveiled a “master plan,” almost none of which has come to fruition, to improve Spring River.

Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, the mobile billboard will hover around Roswell during the UFO Festival for eight hours.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, 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.


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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