Photo Credit: PETA.org
Forced to ride bicycles and perform other tricks while kept in tiny cages, four elderly bears, Fifi, Bruno, Pochahontas and Marsha, had spent years languishing in a roadside zoo in Pennsylvania. After the zoo was shut down two decades ago due to violations of the Animal Welfare Act, the bears were never allowed to leave their confining enclosures.
They restlessly paced in what little room they had in their cages. They had nowhere to hibernate, and poor Fifi suffered from severe arthritis.
When PETA found out that the man who owned the bears was planning to give them away, they stepped in to help. A bear expert was secured to assess their health and determine whether they were able to travel. The expert gave the OK, but because of their advanced ages and for safety’s sake, veterinarians accompanied them on their journey to their new home in Colorado at the Wild Animal Sanctuary where they will recover from their plight and learn how to be wild again.
Now, the bears will have acres of prairie grasses to roam, swimming holes, and the veterinary care that they so desperately needed. Rather than being confined individually to tiny cages in which they could barely take a few steps in any direction, the bears will live in social groups, allowed to choose how they spend their time.
The two massive, 15-acre permanent habitats allow them room to climb and roam and bathe in pools. They’ll be able to hibernate in underground dens.
Watch Fifi, Bruno, Pochahontas and Marsha enjoy their first steps of freedom, with unbridled joy emitting from each of their faces: