Video: All the Bears Rescued From Now-Defunct Mobile Zoo

After PETA Campaign and Roadside Zoo Owner's Arrest, Three Black Bears Will Now Thrive in New Sanctuary Home

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Mobile, Ala. – Three black bears formerly on display in cages at The Mobile Zoo in Wilmer have begun a new life. After the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revoked the roadside zoo’s exhibitor license in late 2016, PETA alerted The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) in Colorado that the bears were in need of a new home, and TWAS worked for months to obtain them. On March 16, The Mobile Zoo’s operator was arrested for 28 charges of cruelty to animals, and on March 23, Mobile County Animal Control confiscated the bears and awarded custody to TWAS.

PETA will cover the transportation costs for the bears and help pay for their lifetime care at TWAS—and a new video shows their release into a multi-acre, naturalistic habitat that includes climate-controlled dens and multiple pools in which they can cool off and bathe. Twenty-four-year-old Elsie was released alongside her 14-year-old offspring, Dusty and Bella, who quickly took off running to explore their new home.

“Now that The Mobile Zoo has closed, these bears’ days of pacing endlessly and begging for peanuts are over,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is delighted to have helped them move to a beautiful new home, where they’ll be treated as individuals, not roadside attractions.”

The Mobile Zoo’s license revocation came as the result of a lawsuit filed by the USDA against the roadside zoo for a long list of violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Among many other issues, it was cited for denying adequate veterinary care to animals, including bears who were vomiting and had diarrhea and one who was seen panting and salivating excessively from the scorching Alabama heat.

In addition to filing numerous complaints with the USDA over The Mobile Zoo’s animal-welfare violations, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—sued the facility under the Endangered Species Act on behalf of Joe, a solitary chimpanzee. The roadside zoo agreed to surrender him to an accredited sanctuary, where he now thrives among many chimpanzee friends.

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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