Video: Lily the Bear Rescued After 10 Years Inside a Tiny, Filthy Concrete Pen

PETA Helps Move Her to New Home at Colorado Sanctuary

For Immediate Release:
November 7, 2016

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Keenesburg, Colo. – Ever since she was a cub, Lily the bear has been kept inside a small pen at Deer Haven Mini Zoo in Keymar, Maryland. She often lived among piles and puddles of her own waste and was frequently unable to lie down without soiling her fur—until recently, when a visitor informed PETA that she appeared to be disoriented and gasping for air. Experts examined video of her and concluded that she was morbidly obese—likely a result of being denied any opportunity to exercise for more than a decade—prompting PETA and its members to urge the roadside zoo to retire her to a reputable sanctuary at no cost to its owners.

Now, a PETA video released today reveals how Lily’s life is changing: She has arrived at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg and been released into an enclosure that allows her to acclimate to the new sights, sounds, and smells of the massive, beautiful Colorado facility. She’ll soon be released into a sprawling habitat, where she’ll have acres in which to roam, forage, and explore.

“Bears have home ranges of up to hundreds of miles in nature, but bears in roadside zoos are deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them and confined to tiny cages in which they can barely take a few steps,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is pushing hard for freedom for hundreds of bears just like Lily, who finally has a chance at happiness after a miserable life on a filthy concrete slab.”

In just the last year, Deer Haven Mini Zoo was cited for allowing the enclosure holding Lily to fall into dangerous disrepair with an “excessive amount” of her own waste. A member of the public also accessed a restricted area and reached into Lily’s cage to “pet” her—Lily grabbed the intruder’s arm and, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s inspection report, may have bitten her.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has now rescued 57 bears from barren concrete pits and tiny cages across the U.S. in the last four years, many of whom now live at The Wild Animal Sanctuary.

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“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