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Lawyers Sue to Save Ben the Bear

Lawyers Sue to Save Ben the Bear


Imagine living your entire life alone in a barren wire cage on a concrete floor. This is the fate of Ben the bear, property of Jambbas Ranch Tours in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Lawyers from the Animal Legal Defense Fund have taken Ben’s case to federal court.

Video courtesy of PETA

Jambbas is a roadside zoo required to comply with the federal Animal Welfare Act, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture enforces. Instead Jambbas ignores the law and the welfare of Ben and the other animals it displays. The USDA has cited the zoo time and again for AWA violations like unsanitary conditions, hazardous enclosures, failure to provide adequate veterinary care, and failure to provide enough food and potable water. The AWA prohibits the USDA from giving licenses to facilities that violate it.

Yet when Jambbas’s license came up for renewal, the USDA rubber-stamped it.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, and two North Carolina residents have sued the USDA for renewing the zoo’s AWA license. The two individuals have also sued for custody of Ben.

It doesn’t take a bear expert to see that Ben is suffering, but Else Poulsen was brought in for her professional opinion. She said that Ben “is suffering greatly and intervention is critical at this time. Ben exhibits the typical aberrant behaviors of a sensory deprived bear in a substandard enclosure with substandard husbandry practices. His day consists of pacing, begging for bread from visitors, and sleeping–nothing else.”

The other animals on exhibit at Jambbas, including goats, cows, pigs, rabbits, sheep, bison, elk, deer, and dogs, are suffering from similar anguish.

Stephen Wells, Executive Director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, points out that by repeatedly citing Jambbas for violating the most basic animal welfare standards the USDA has admitted that “Ben and the other animals should not live like this.” Yet it is the USDA that has approved the license that will leave them in the hands of the people who force them to live like this.

Sign the petition below to tell the USDA that it must not renew Jambbas Ranch’s AWA license.


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Photo Credit: Dr.DeNo

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2:11AM PDT on May 10, 2013


4:05AM PST on Feb 16, 2013

It's terrible to know that we have taken from their natural habitat to bears, to accept that this facility also does not comply with the laws. Actually we should ask is closing the establishment, be denied the patent application and it is covered by a very strong financial penalty. Since it is the only way that people understand. And avoiding touching your pockets keep winning at the expense of animal suffering.

7:17PM PDT on Aug 29, 2012

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
---St. Francis of Assisi

7:54PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

What is wrong with the USDA, haven't they been out there to see the conditions these animals live in? This poor bear need a large confinement and a companion. No animal should have to live in a small cage and spend his time all alone!!!

3:28AM PDT on May 30, 2012

For every action there is a reaction. According to the law of karma, if we cause pain and suffering to other living beings, we must endure pain and suffering in return, both individually and collectively. We reap what we sow, in this life and the next, for nature has her own justice. No one can escape the law of karma

3:28AM PDT on May 30, 2012

For every action there is a reaction. According to the law of karma, if we cause pain and suffering to other living beings, we must endure pain and suffering in return, both individually and collectively. We reap what we sow, in this life and the next, for nature has her own justice. No one can escape the law of karma

10:50AM PDT on May 27, 2012

Ignorant little humans w/so little grey matter ,should not be allowed to "own" any animals .Much less keep them in such cages not fit for dog.

11:57PM PDT on May 25, 2012

I am beyond disgusted. These people who put poor Ben into that small cage should be put in a cage of their own. It's not rocket science...that poor bear is suffering...he's bored, lonely and sad. Anyone who would put this poor animal into a situation like this should be caged up too....just the way Ben is...let's see if they still whistle the same tune. These people are a waste of human flesh.

10:03AM PDT on May 25, 2012

Well Karen. The others may be out in a field but it is clear from the video that Ben is kept in a cage.
I hope the lawers win and get Ben into a better facility where he has rome to roam and do bear things.

7:25AM PDT on May 25, 2012

I don't know about Ben as I have never been to see where he is kept. However, my concern with this article is that it also mentions horses, bison, goats, sheep, cows etc. "suffering similar anguish". That is a blatant lie. I am not connected to Jammbas Ranch in any way, but I would hardly classify it as a "roadside" zoo. I live about 8 miles from them and pass them EVERY DAY on my way to and from work. They have a personal brick home set back from the road about 300 feet and about 100 feet to one side of it is a log cabin type building that I think is some kind of orientation building. I don't know how many acres they own, but it is quite a few. The animals are fenced, but they are in large grassy pastures of at least 3 acres or more each. They keep different types of animals separated so the horses (maybe 2) 1 or 2 burros and a pony are kept in one pasture while goats and/or sheep are in another pasture to the orth of the horses. They sometimes rotate the pastures but usually these animals are in the ones by the road, which is a 2 land blacktop country road. (It does have a county road number, but I'm not sure what it is as it is normally called by it's namd - Tabor-Church Road in Cumberland County. It is not IN Fayetteville but it is out in the country on rolling land with wooded areas all around it. I have only seen the bison a few times in the front pastures but I could see them sometime toward the back in a much larger pasture. I think they may have some lla

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