At a tiny zoo in rural Pennsylvania, the Big Bear Farm Zoo Park, four bears were suffering the most horrible abuse.
When the zoo closed in 1995, Fifi, Bruno, Pocahontas, and Marsha entertained visitors by performing cruel tricks, like riding a bicycle or walking on their hind legs.
The crowds were gone, but the bears stayed behind. For over 20 years they were kept in tiny cages with concrete floors and only a small wooden doghouse for shelter.
The bear’s health suffered while they learned to cope with their awful conditions. They were forgotten and alone.
It took more than twenty years of waiting, but help finally arrived to rescue these animals.
The awful conditions at the zoo left each of the bears with painful injuries and disorders. The bears were all mangy and underweight, and even suffering mentally from their isolation.
Fifi, one of the oldest bears, had a bad case of arthritis in her back legs that went untreated. Worst of all, the zoo’s owners didn’t let the bears hibernate during winter, keeping them awake in spite of their health to host shows year round.
It was a painful and tragic existence, but after 20 years PETA stepped in gave these animals the home they deserved.
The 4 bears were moved to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, a much nicer home with wide open spaces to explore, underground dens to hibernate in and vets to care for them.
But Fifi was most excited by the bathtubs, running out of her cage as soon as it opened to soak her tired bones in the water.
The best part of the bear’s new home is the animals get to interact with each other. Imagine being locked up alone for 20 years, it’s enough to drive anyone crazy!
You can tell just by looking at her how much happier Fifi is:
In the United States alone there are over 1,000 bears living in captivity. Not all of them are as lucky as these bears are.
The way they were treated is actually illegal under the Animal Welfare Act.
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