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Update: On December 1, 2020, PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund sent an official notice as required under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to the operators of Pymatuning Deer Park, alerting them of the groups’ intent to sue over the roadside zoo’s mistreatment of lions, tigers, lemurs, and other protected animals. The groups also allege that the facility’s mistreatment of all the animals there—particularly Bosco the bear—constitutes a public nuisance under state law.
However, this deplorable tourist trap is still hell for many animals—including an adult bear named Bosco who is confined to a virtually barren concrete pit. In 2015, PETA first witnessed another bear struggling to walk and alerted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to her condition. The USDA inspected Pymatuning following PETA's complaint and, among a litany of other federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations, confirmed that the bear was "showing signs of debility" from arthritis and that the facility had allowed her to suffer in pain without ever notifying a veterinarian. The USDA also cited Pymatuning for confining the bears to a concrete pit, noting that it didn't allow them to move freely and that the concrete likely caused and was exacerbating the female bear's arthritis. In September 2018, the female bear was again observed struggling to walk—almost two and a half years after PETA first alerted the USDA to her suffering. Now, only Bosco remains, and he's also showing signs of arthritis while being forced to live primarily in a concrete pit.
PETA has repeatedly offered to arrange for the transfer of the bears to reputable sanctuaries, but the owner refuses to do what's right. The female bear never got the opportunity to roam and forage in a naturalistic habitat, but it's not too late for Bosco. Help us send him to a reputable sanctuary so he can get the care, attention, and space that he deserves.
Pymatuning has a long history of violating the AWA. In 2016, it was slapped with a warning—a rare enforcement action—for more than a dozen AWA citations. It has been repeatedly cited for failing to provide animals with veterinary care. The facility has also been cited for failing to clean enclosures that had a buildup of feces and old food and failing to clean water receptacles that were covered in algae. PETA has continued to alert the USDA to the inadequate conditions at Pymatuning, but the animals still suffer at this deplorable roadside zoo.
Pymatuning is one of the few facilities in the country that still confines bears to cruel, antiquated concrete pits, where the animals have virtually nothing to do but beg for scraps of food from tourists. PETA has pledged to close every bear pit in the country and has rescued over 70 bears from lives of deprivation since 2012.
Speak up along with singer-songwriter, Joan Jett, and actor Cloris Leachman, today and sign our petition urging Pymatuning to close its bear pit and surrender the remaining bear it holds captive to a reputable sanctuary, where he can live out his days free from concrete in a vast enclosure measured in acres rather than feet and get the care that he desperately needs.