Video: Bears From Tregembo Spend First Christmas at Sanctuary

For Immediate Release:
December 22, 2017

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Greeley, Colo. – On Tuesday, we announced that bears who were once displayed in virtually barren cages at Tregembo Animal Park in North Carolina were on their way to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado—and today, new video footage shows the bears, named Ben and Bogey (Booger), taking their first steps in their temporary enclosures at the sanctuary.

As the video reveals, after the bears acclimate to the sanctuary, they’ll be released into a vast habitat, where they’ll be able to climb, dig, and run. They’ll also have the opportunity to hibernate this year—possibly for the first time ever.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.” Our news release about the settlement that led to the bears’ transfer appears below.

For Immediate Release:

December 19, 2017


PETA Celebrates Settlement in Lawsuit Against Tregembo Animal Park

Wilmington, N.C. — Two bears formerly on display in virtually barren cages at Tregembo Animal Park in Wilmington, North Carolina are en route today to a new life in naturalistic, multi-acre habitats at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado. Their rescue is the result of a settlement reached in a lawsuit filed in August by two North Carolina residents—who were represented by PETA Foundation lawyers and two local law firms—alleging that the roadside zoo’s treatment of the bears, named Ben and Bogey (Booger), violated North Carolina’s anti-cruelty statute. The settlement agreement also permits the plaintiffs to challenge the roadside zoo in court, should it seek to acquire any new bears.

“The bears’ days of languishing in tiny cages are over,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is thrilled that they are headed to a spacious sanctuary, where they’ll finally be able to roam, swim, dig, and just be bears.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that at Tregembo Animal Park, Ben and Bogey were confined to enclosures that were less than 0.0004 percent of the minimum territory that a bear would cover in nature. Bogey paced repeatedly—a symptom of mental anguish caused by deprivation and distress—and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited the facility in 2015 for failing to provide Ben, who is obese, with appropriate veterinary care for severe facial lesions that left him with scarring on both corneas.

PETA has helped rescue 65 bears, including Ben and Bogey, from dire situations in the past five years.

For more information, please visit

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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