Right now, 11 bears are getting used to the natural and fantastic feeling of grass beneath their paws. Eleven bears who had languished in tiny concrete pits at Chief Saunooke Bear Park in the U.S. are now enjoying new lives—and are finally allowed to be bears—at a sanctuary in Texas.
This video of the bears experiencing freedom for the first time as they take their first steps into their new home might require tissues—it caused an overwhelming feeling of joy inside me that could not be contained.
A PETA U.S. investigation revealed that bears at the roadside zoo had not received veterinary care and were forced to eat from filthy and unsanitary food containers and also that staff members were deliberately depriving them of food. The animals were so stressed from being constantly confined that they paced repeatedly and gnawed on their metal cage bars—chipping and breaking their teeth. The investigation also uncovered drug use, racism, wage-law violations, and more.
Following the investigation, the roadside zoo paid a fine and surrendered its exhibitor’s license. A generous person offered to help find a new home for the bears, and now, as you can see in the video, these 11 bears are set to live the kind of lives that bears would live naturally!
Although now is certainly a great moment to celebrate, remember that there are countless other animals suffering at zoos and animal parks across the globe. Mali the lonely elephant at the Manila Zoo is just one of them. She has been suffering in a barren concrete enclosure for 36 years. Imagine her freedom video—her first steps onto the soft earth and first taste of river water. Imagine her running and foraging in the lush Thai jungle. Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary offers her all these opportunities and more. It can give her the life that she’s been deprived of for almost four decades. For more information about how to take action for Mali, visit FreeMali.com. You can also help all animals in captivity by taking the pledge never to visit a zoo or animal park again.
Posted by Edwina Baier