Demand Ban on Cruel Bear Pits in Zoos

Target: Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary

Goal: Ban concrete bear pits, which are known to cause harm to the physical and psychological health of animals.

Throughout the U.S., countless bears are currently stuck in concrete pits for human entertainment at zoos. Bear experts and veterinarians have stated how detrimental bear pits are for the mental and physical health of bears.

Living on concrete can cause arthritis, painful sores and other injuries. In addition, bear pits can cause a condition called zoochosis, which causes the bears to pace and walk in circles due to boredom and lack of physical and mental stimulation.

Being held in a zoo is already detrimental to animals’ health, but bear pits make life even more unbearable. Bears are unable to see beyond their four walls or dig and play in the dirt and trees. Sign this petition to demand the USDA ban bear pits throughout the United States.


Dear Mr. Vilsack,

In zoos across the nation, countless bears are stuck in concrete pits for people to look down upon and gawk at. Bear experts and veterinarians agree that bear pits are extremely detrimental to bears’ physical and mental health.

Bear pits can cause zoochosis, which causes bears to pace and walk in circles due to extreme boredom and lack of stimulation. Also, bear pits are covered in concrete which can cause arthritis, pressure sores and other injuries.

These pits deny bears everything that is natural. They cannot gaze out among the horizon, dig in the dirt or run through the trees. It is already detrimental to have this intelligent and curious animal in a zoo, but these pits make it even worse. Please consider banning bear pits throughout the United Statesin order to improve quality of life for these animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: BrianP

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  2. I have been mortified when looking at footage of bears living in pits!
    Who the heck ever condoned such barbaric and sadistic cruelty to be placed upon any living creature, let alone large animals that wander in the wild for many miles, climb trees, and live in social family groups?
    This must be outlawed immediately! Shame on a country like the USA to allow such cruelty in this day and age.

    • The USA is no better than vile China and the other vile Asian countries when it comes to animal abuse. Disgusting. America thinks it’s so great, the country is a joke. Zoos should be abolished and wildlife parks created instead where the animals have space to roam. A cancer curse on the owners of bear pits and the authorities that allow them. Bear pits go back to the Victorian age.

  3. Please tell me is this is how the USA treats their Zoo Animals. What a pathetic low level of brainless humans are there to govern the animal welfare issues. They need to get in to pits and allow the animals to sit on chairs to bring some meaningful laws to protect them. Unbelievable…

  4. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack : YOU and your “administration buddies” are in a position to BAN these bear pits. Are you not aware that throughout the U.S., countless bears are currently stuck in concrete pits for human entertainment at zoos. If you are not aware of it, you should be replaced with someone who cares and has compassion for bears kept in captivity by GREEDY people.
    How would YOU like to live on concrete and feel arthritis pain, painful sores and other injuries. Aren’t you glad you were not born a bear and HAVING TO LIVE IN ONE OF THOSE ABUSEMENT ZOOS.
    BAV bear pits throughout the United Statesin order to improve quality of life for these animals. YOU HAVE THE PLATFORM TO DO IT, DO IT.

  5. Zoos need to stop keeping animals in horrific conditions just to make a buck. They don’t belong there. They belong in the wild. I don’t agree with zoos unless they are keeping animals and breeding them in order to save a species or rehabilitate in order to release back into the wild. Zoos should not have animals simply to make money. Animals were not put on this earth for our amusement.

  6. WTF is wrong with you stupid, heartless people?!!! Zoos themselves should be nowhere but in museums ALREADY, but to add FURTHER torture with bear “pits”! — utterly BEYOND EXCUSE!!!

    And to those who don’t already know, zoos have NOTHING to do with any supposed “breeding programs,” NEVER releasing animals back into the wild. They are nothing but big money-making schemes that enslave and HURT animals. Get educated, please, so they can’t keep getting away with their hefty pack of lies!

  7. I don’t think animals should be in captive at all but, if they are to be at zoo’s they shouldn’t be in a concrete pit.
    They should have a area where they have room to roam with grass, trees, and water.

    Concrete pits are cruel and inhumane.
    Bears are beautiful animals that deserve so much more then a cruel small concrete pit.

  8. Dear Sir!
    I am begging you to take positive action and force the closure of such mindless “entertainment” throughout America. Be remembered by your actions in perpetuity, and not fade into the background of “another politician”.
    Activists in this region: Get in touch with suitable sanctuaries and prominent people who are able to provide necessary funds.
    For the owner of this ill-faded zoo: Please show compassion. God will grant you inspiration.

  9. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared. ?

  10. Bear pits are cruel and barbaric and their use must end, now!

  11. This is such a no-brainer — it is clear these bears are suffering — FOR WHAT! — DO what it takes to ensure these bears are happy, healthy & comfortable — to resign them to such a dark, gloomy & UNNATURAL existence is beyond cruel, unconscionable & immoral — DO RIGHT be these bears — let’s get some rationality, clear-thinking & compassion!

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