Release Bears Living in Concrete Pits to a Sanctuary

Target: Barry Coggins, Owner of Cherokee Bear Zoo

Goal: Release bears living in barren concrete pits and send them to a sanctuary.

More than 10 bears are currently held captive at the Cherokee Bear Zoo, a seedy roadside attraction located in North Carolina. The animals, which include both grizzly and black bears, are forced to spend their days confined to barren concrete pits that offer nothing in the way of mental or physical stimulation.

There are four grizzly bears at the zoo. They live in two pits: one is 560 square feet and the other is 280 square feet, according to Citizen Times. This is obscene when one considers that, in the wild, grizzly bears have a range of over 500 square miles, which they explore for up to 18 hours a day. Due to the inadequate living space, the bears at Cherokee Bear Zoo are often seen pacing back and forth and walking in circles – both of which are signs of psychological stress.

A recent video taken of a bear pit at the zoo appears to show a black bear walking with a significant limp. PETA has since urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure that the bear receives medical treatment, since the owners of the zoo apparently cannot be bothered to provide the necessary veterinary care.

The people who run the Cherokee Bear Zoo maintain that their animals are properly cared for and happy. But this is an impossibility. The only entities that can provide bears with an acceptable standard of living are wildlife sanctuaries. Please sign the petition below, urging Cherokee Bear Zoo owner Barry Coggins to release his bears from confinement and send them to a reputable sanctuary where they belong.


Mr. Coggins,

The bears held captive at your zoo must be released and sent to a reputable wildlife sanctuary as soon as possible. Bears are remarkably intelligent, emotional and sensitive creatures. In the wild, their habitat spans over 500 square miles, and they explore their environment for up to 18 hours a day. By confining them to small, barren, concrete pits, you are depriving them of everything that is essential to their physical and psychological well-being.

Please do not continue to exploit these innocent animals for profit. They deserve the opportunity to experience joy and fulfillment, which can only be provided by a wildlife sanctuary dedicated to their rehabilitation. I urge you to retire your bears to such a sanctuary immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tony Hisgett

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  1. Kimberly Bordner says:

    This should be addressed ASAP, these poor bears need proper homes with a intellectual habitat!

  2. Nina-Maria Walker says:

    Let these poor Bears go ! It’s EVIL what you are doing !!!!!! PURE EVIL !!!!!!

  3. “So many people insist they are against animal abuse, cruelty, suffering and the inhumane treatment of animals, yet they don’t understand they are actively engaging in and supporting egregious suffering, abuse, cruelty and inhumane treatment when they eat animals and their ‘by-products.’ If you are against cruelty, suffering and inhumane treatment, then you go vegan. It’s just that simple.” – Sarah Kiser

  4. Sick of People Like you. says:

    Let’s just lock this guy up in a closet and see how he likes it. Stop abusing animals just to make a buck! Find some other way to make a living and not at the expense of innocent animals.

  5. These petitions of bears in pits makes me feel sick. The heartless idiots who keep these bears locked in places they cannot get out shoukd be locked up themselves. These innocent animals should be free at least to a sanctuary. Every day they spend confined I hope there will be bad karma heaped on those responsible, FREE THEM NOW 6

  6. Coggins, Try putting yourself in their position and see how you like it. If you do not release them to a proper sanctuary you will be cursed. See how you like those consequences.

  7. Let the bears alone!

  8. simon rickman says:

    The world doesn’t need these idiot people in the 21st century. Stick them in a pit and walk away.

  9. Lauren Amick says:

    The world is changing. Animal welfare is more important than ever, and it’s important to millions of people.

    Please close the Cherokee Bear Zoo bear exhibits immediately and agree to retire the bears to a reputable sanctuary, where they can roam vast acreage, forage for their own food, and act on their natural instincts. No animal should be forced to live in a concrete pit. They deserve open terrain, and these intelligent animals deserve more than to live out the rest of their days being stared at by tourists behind concrete walls.

    I hope you don’t mean it to be, but what these bears are currently being forced to endure is cruel and inhumane. You have the power to bring peace to these animals. They feel pain and boredom and misery just as we do. Letting them live their lives now in a sanctuary would show just how much you care and would bring you on the correct side of this issue.

    No one wants to see animals suffer, and it’s shameful to continue to deny the frustrated bears the opportunity to thrive elsewhere. There is nothing for them to do but pace back and forth or walk around in circles. They are separated from everything that is natural and important to their species. As people continue to evolve and understand more about these animals’ unique needs, your revenue will continue to drop. It’s 2016, and there is no excuse for profiting from animal suffering in the name of entertainment.

    Reputable sanctuaries stand ready to take in these bears so that they can live out the rest of their days in peace. Existing sanctuaries that have no corporate motives and employ experts in specialized care for exotic animals will provide these suffering bears with a much better home. Please take advantage of this opportunity without further delay and retire these bears so that they can finally truly be bears. They did not choose to be in the tourism business. Please don’t allow them to continue to suffer. Please.

  10. Janis Hargreaves says:

    Cherokee Bear Zoo, you are so inhuman to stand by and watch a beautiful animal suffer with no compassion, except for the miserable dollar it puts in your pathetic pocket. You are not human in fact savage would be to good a description for the likes of you. Find a real job and stop torturing poor innocent animals you bastards. As for the people who go and see your disgusting establishment should be more than ashamed of themselves.

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