At Three Bears General Store, a deplorable roadside attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, two Asiatic black bears are confined to a virtually barren concrete pit where they have nothing to do but pace back and forth and beg tourists for food. Two bears—Honey and Mandy—both died in the pit, and now another bear is gone, likely dead as well. They were all deprived of the opportunity to feel the soft earth beneath their feet, dig their own dens, and generally live as bears should.
The remaining two bears are also denied the chance to do anything that would make their lives meaningful, such as climbing, digging, foraging, and exploring vast terrain. Because incompatible bears were forced to live together in the small pit, they fought with each other—a common occurrence, according to an employee. The two remaining bears reportedly can’t live together, so they each only have access to the deplorable outdoor concrete pit by themselves for short periods of time each day and are otherwise confined to small spaces indoors. No one should live like this.
Three Bears has a lengthy history of animal welfare violations, including failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care and clean drinking water. One bear was seen dragging her back leg. Arthritis and foot injuries in captive bears are often caused by obesity and living solely on concrete.
In 2014, PETA rescued two Himalayan black bears from a cramped cage in the residential backyard of Three Bears’ owner Bill Delozier. They now live at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, where they have soft grass and wide-open space and are able to hibernate each winter, instead of being forced to entertain tourists. They got the care that they desperately needed, but animals are still suffering at Three Bears. This exploitation is a form of speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and it must end.
Please join us in urging Three Bears to send the remaining two bears to an accredited sanctuary where they could get the space and high-quality care that they need and deserve.