A recent letter writer misstated what happened to the 17 bears PETA rescued from the virtually barren pits at the Black Forest Bear Park. The bears, who stared at concrete walls 24 hours a day, are now experiencing the joys of wide-open spaces, dirt to dig in and trees to use as back-scratchers, all from the safety of a Colorado sanctuary.
While housed in the concrete pits at the roadside zoo, the bears paced repeatedly and showed other signs of severe stress. They had little protection from the elements and were reduced to being fed dog food and begging for apples and bread from tourists.
At their new home, they enjoy clean water and a variety of fresh and nutritious food, including grains, breads, cereals, pasta, meat, fruits and vegetables. The bears can take dips in large swimming tanks or goof around on play structures.
They can feel grass beneath their feet, and they will be able to hibernate in comfortable, temperature-controlled dens.
For these rescued bears, there is a happy ending. Readers can learn how to help the many other bears who are still languishing in roadside zoos by visiting PETA.org.
PETA Foundation, Norfolk, Va.