Wildlife Defenders to Converge on Wellsville Baby Bear Event With Warning: Animals Aren’t Props

For Immediate Release:
April 4, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Wellsville, Utah

“Baby animals belong with their mothers.” That’s the message local families and PETA supporters will bring to Baby Animal Days at the American West Heritage Center, where scared bear cubs from Yellowstone Bear World (YBW) will be gawked at by noisy crowds for four days with nowhere to rest or hide from the commotion and no comfort from the mothers from whom they were forcibly—and unnaturally—separated.

YBW hauls baby bears hundreds of miles to the event, where they’ve been observed crying out and huddling on top of each other in a corner. Although wild bears stay with their mothers for up to two years, YBW tears cubs away from their mothers at only 6 to 8 weeks old to use them in paid public encounters and photo ops.

When:    Saturday, April 6, 12 noon

Where:    Outside the American West Heritage Center, 4025 S. Hwy. 89–91, Wellsville

Yellowstone Bear World bear cub with hair loss
A separated bear cub from Yellowstone Bear World at Baby Animal Days. Credit: PETA

yellowstone bear world protest

Credit: PETA

“Yellowstone Bear World rips infant bears from their loving and frantic mothers and treats them as mere props to lure in paying tourists,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler. “PETA urges everyone to stay away from Yellowstone Bear World and other seedy roadside zoos that traumatize and exploit vulnerable wild animals.”

YBW has amassed multiple citations for violating state and federal laws, including Idaho’s captive-wildlife regulations and the federal Animal Welfare Act. A PETA undercover investigation into YBW—which revealed that a cub with a broken leg was denied prescribed treatment; an irate supervisor threatened to throw a cub across the room; cubs bit, scratched, and bruised workers; and cubs deprived of the opportunity to nurse desperately tried to suckle from workers’ chins and arms—resulted in a federal fine of over $6,000.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness.

For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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