Target: Governor of Tennessee Bill Haslam
Goal: Save five bears from a gift shop’s cruel concrete viewing pit
Three Bears General Store in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a gift shop that includes an open bear pit with five bears that are forced to live in deplorable conditions. The barren, concrete pit consists of some fake, large rock props, a few logs, and a wading pool for the bears to bathe and drink water from. Additionally, there are few plants or trees to shade them from the hot sun. The pit lacks mental stimulation for the bears to occupy their intelligent minds and they have little to do all day other than beg for food from visitors, which can be purchased in small servings at the gift shop for $1.25.
The bears in this tiny enclosure have been described as lethargic, malnourished, and depressed as tourists flock to the pit to throw bits of stale bread, dog biscuits, grapes, and apple slices at them. With nothing to do in the pit, the bears quickly grow bored and frustrated, pacing around in circles and rocking back and forth—a clear sign of psychological stress. They also resort to biting on the pits’ metal bars, damaging their teeth and leading to other injuries that the owners of the bear pit do not bother to treat.
Please sign this petition to urge Governor Bill Haslam to shut down Three Bears General Store’s bear pit attraction and relocate the animals to a sanctuary where they will be free to roam, exercise, and eat freely.
Dear Governor Haslam,
Roadside attractions that feature caged, wild animals in poor conditions should be closed immediately. It is wrong and cruel to trap wild animals in cramped environments for profit. The five bears in captivity at Three Bears General Store in Pigeon Forge belong in their natural habitat, not in barren concrete pits. These innocent animals deserve to be transferred to a wildlife sanctuary where they can live peacefully and not be subjected to being fed on measly “bear food” from a gift shop.
Please shut down this inhumane bear pit and stop the owners from reopening the pit in the future. A gift shop and ice cream parlor has no business housing wild bears, and these animals should not be forced to suffer in captivity.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: geralt via Pixabay