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PETA Calls In The Feds

bearCreativecommons.org/Patrick Denker

An approximately three-month-old brown bear cub that is being used for photo ops at North Carolina’s Cherokee Bear Zoo has been demonstrating severe signs of distress.

The poor cub endlessly cries out for help by pacing while growling and crying for attention. She also angrily stomps her hind legs and urinates on herself — all the unmistakable signs of extreme stress.

Because the cub is displaying obvious signs of distress and being forced into photo ops with visitors to the roadside zoo, PETA has sent an urgent complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking the agency to investigate immediately and fine the zoo for any violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

“This bear cub, who should still be with her mother, and other animals at the roadside zoo are clearly suffering, and it’s time that someone be held accountable,” said PETA’s deputy general counsel Delcianna Winders.

“The only hope this cub has is for the federal government to enforce the minimal laws that exist to prevent the type of daily suffering going on at Cherokee Bear Zoo.”

PETA alleges that animal neglect at the zoo also includes: an iguana who has fungus growing on him, a dirty pool as the only apparent water source for bears, and bears that forced to live on wet concrete, which can result in painful foot cracks.

In 2012, the zoo was cited for failing to provide an unvaccinated three- to-four-month-old tiger cub with adequate veterinary care, putting the underweight animal at risk of contracting potentially fatal diseases.

Just this past February, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited and fined Cherokee Bear Zoo for multiple violations of federal laws to protect its workers, following a complaint from PETA. The zoo received five citations and was ordered to pay a $3,120 fine.

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