PETA recently published a deeply disturbing video of a bear cub being handled with cruelty and carelessness during a roadside zoo event. Tim Stark, an animal exhibitor and owner of the Wildlife in Need roadside zoo in Charlestown, Indiana, treats the fourteen-week-old cub with little to no care for the animal’s comfort and well-being.
In the video, the little bear is grabbed under the front paws, swung around, and displayed like a toy. These acts of cruelty are not only a great source of distress but a very real health risk to the animal. By dangling the bear by her mouth, the man is putting her at risk for damage to the teeth and neck muscles.
The cries that come from the bear are not difficult to interpret – the animal sounds incredibly distressed and terrified of what is being done to her. The horrified cub tries her best to escape, but she is helpless – she even resorts to biting the man’s hand in an attempt to fight back. She eventually urinates out of fear she is under so much stress.
In the wild, the baby bear would still be with her mother and remain so for the entire first two years of her life.
This terrifying display is more than unacceptable, as are other similar shows profiting from keeping animals in captivity and treating them like exhibition objects. PETA has taken steps towards having Stark, who already has a long history of abusing animals, investigated for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.