At Three Bears General Store, a deplorable roadside attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, three Asiatic black bears—Papa, Katie, and Smokey—are confined to a virtually barren concrete pit where they have nothing to do but stare at the walls and beg tourists for food. Two bears—Honey and Mandy—both died in the pit, having been deprived of the opportunity to feel the soft earth beneath their feet, dig their own den, and generally live as bears should.
Papa, Katie, and Smokey are denied the chance to do anything that would make their lives meaningful, such as climbing, digging, foraging, and exploring vast terrain. Because incompatible animals are forced to live together in the small pit, the bears fight with each other, which, according to an employee, is a common occurrence.
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 Papa, Katie, and Smokey 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 bears to an accredited sanctuary, where they’ll get the space and high-quality care that they need and deserve.