Help Bears Suffering in North Carolina: Please Take Action by March 7
Please click HERE to sign and send automatic letter
Background | Source PETA
For decades, bears have been held in barren concrete pits and tiny cages, where they are forced to beg for food and are deprived of everything that is natural and important to them at roadside zoos in Cherokee, North Carolina. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has repeatedly cited these facilities for violating the minimum standards of the federal Animal Welfare Act, and the agency recently fined one of the facilities and suspended its license after charging it with more than a dozen violations, including feeding the bears inappropriate food, providing inadequate veterinary care and inadequate housing, and keeping incompatible animals together. A recent PETA investigation of this same facility revealed that staff members were deliberately depriving bears of food and that the animals are so stressed from being constantly confined to small concrete pits that they pace repeatedly and gnaw at the metal cage bars. PETA’s investigation also uncovered drug use, wage-law violations, racism against Native Americans, and more.
These depraved exhibits are a black eye for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. These roadside zoos—operated on tribal land by non-natives, at least some of whom engage in discriminatory practices toward Native Americans and and all of whom cruelly keep bears in barren pits or tiny cages, contrary to the Cherokee tradition of respecting all life—are an affront to the tribe, and it’s time that they be shut down once and for all.
And the tribe is considering doing just that! Tribal elders, after learning about the abuse and suffering occurring on tribal land, approached the tribal council about closing the bear pits. On the evening of this Wednesday, March 6, the council will meet to discuss closing the bear pits, and on March 7, it is expected to vote on the matter. But the bears need your help. A lot of pressure is being put on the council to keep the bear pits open, despite the suffering and racism and the fact that they stigmatize the entire tribe. The council members need to hear from as many people as possible about the importance of closing the bear pits and sending the bears to reputable sanctuaries.
Please refrain from using the words “bear” and “Cherokee” in your e-mail subject line to avoid having your e-mail blocked.
i am the spirit of the bear
and i am in such prolonged,
some humans out there
think we bears are here
to dance in the circus
to be baited and tormented
or our parts used for medicine
by those humans, demented
we belong to the forests,
to the mountains and streams
this is supposed to be our reality
not just in our dreams
Karen Lyons Kalmenson