Feds fine bear pit, suspend license

  • Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 12:57 a.m.

CHEROKEE (AP) — Federal officials have suspended the exhibitor’s license of a North Carolina bear pit and fined the owner $20,000 over inhumane conditions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued an order this month after earlier citing Chief Saunooke Bear Park in Cherokee with multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Inspectors found the private zoo was failing to provide the bears with appropriate food, proper veterinary care and a safe enclosure.

The federal action followed a long public campaign against the tourist attraction by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and an incident where a 9-year-old girl was bitten while feeding a baby bear a mixture of dry cereal and cat food.

The suspension will remain in place until inspectors determine the facility fully complies with animal welfare standards.

Notice about comments:

Salisburypost.com is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. Salisburypost.com cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not Salisburypost.com. If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.