Many bears at roadside zoos spend many of their waking hours pacing, head-butting the cages, and engaging in other abnormal behavior indicative of chronic distress. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been ignoring bears and ignoring how much space they need and what they need to eat in order to be healthy. A North Carolina judge recently found that roadside zoo Jambbas Ranch committed illegal cruelty to animals by forcing a bear named Ben to live in a tiny, virtually barren pen made of concrete and chain-link fencing—a pen that USDA inspectors found acceptable. While Ben has been transferred to a reputable sanctuary and given a chance at a new life, hundreds of bears across the country continue to suffer in horrific conditions. Urge the USDA to implement rules that specifically address the unique and complex needs of captive bears.
Dear [Decision Maker],