Video: Bears From Roadside Zoo Feel Soil, Sunshine, and Freedom For The First Time Ever!

Rescued From a Decrepit Backyard Cage, Bears Will Enjoy the Holidays at Colorado Sanctuary, Thanks to The Simpsons Co-Creator and PETA

For Immediate Release:
December 8, 2014

Katie MacDonald 202-483-7382

Keenesburg, Colo. – What happens when a bear is moved from a tiny, prison-like cage with a concrete floor to a beautiful, spacious sanctuary? As shown in this moving video footage, the two Himalayan black bears were cautious at first. But once their paws touched fresh mulch for the first time, they were romping like cubs. They also enjoyed feasting on fresh fruits and vegetables and bathing in tubs of water. The bears, one of whom may be pregnant, were moved from a decrepit, dark pen in a backyard in Tennessee to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado.

It all happened last week, thanks to Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon, who is determined to spare animals needless suffering and has set many free since his terminal cancer diagnosis in 2012.

“Sam Simon’s compassion and determination has given these bears a life and made it possible for them to enjoy a beautiful habitat that couldn’t be further from their former barren concrete prison,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is asking caring people everywhere to spare bears a lifetime of suffering by never visiting roadside zoo exhibits.”

The two Himalayan black bears were illegally imported into Tennessee by the owner of Three Bears General Store, a tourist trap in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., that confines bears to a decrepit concrete pit. PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way,” submitted a complaint to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which then investigated and charged the owner with illegally importing the bears into the state. A plea deal was struck that secured the two bears’ surrender for retirement to a sanctuary, and PETA’s help was sought in finding the bears a happy new home.

For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 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