Video: 60 Bears Rescued in Just Five Years

For Immediate Release:
June 29, 2017

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – We have a positive statistic for you: In the past five years, PETA has rescued 60 captive bears from barren roadside “bear pits,” backyard cages, and various forms of cruel treatment all over the U.S. Many of the bears now call The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, home—including Fifi, Elsie, Lily, and Ursula (who gave birth to three cubs at the sanctuary). Now, they can enjoy life roaming, digging, playing, climbing, and spending time with their families and new friends. At the sanctuary, they finally get to be bears!

As our video reveals, Fifi was forced to stand on her hind legs and perform tricks at a roadside zoo in Pennsylvania; Elsie panted in the relentless heat at a run-down animal park in Alabama; and Lily lived in a cramped corn crib at a dismal roadside attraction in Maryland, caged in her own waste and overweight. Now, these bears—and many more—have a new lease on life at reputable sanctuaries, where they get veterinary care, healthy food, and acres of open space to explore.

PETA (whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”) notes that—while this progress is certainly significant and, increasingly, as the public learns about wildlife, they’re shunning these pits of despair—there’s much more to be done. Hundreds of bears still languish in roadside zoos, concrete pits, and backyard pens across the country.

More information about PETA’s work to rescue intelligent, inquisitive bears is available here.

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