Demand Ban on Cruel Bear Pits in Zoos

Bear Pit BrianP

Target: Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary

Goal: Ban concrete bear pits, which are known to cause harm to the physical and psychological health of animals.

Throughout the U.S., countless bears are currently stuck in concrete pits for human entertainment at zoos. Bear experts and veterinarians have stated how detrimental bear pits are for the mental and physical health of bears.

Living on concrete can cause arthritis, painful sores and other injuries. In addition, bear pits can cause a condition called zoochosis, which causes the bears to pace and walk in circles due to boredom and lack of physical and mental stimulation.

Being held in a zoo is already detrimental to animals’ health, but bear pits make life even more unbearable. Bears are unable to see beyond their four walls or dig and play in the dirt and trees. Sign this petition to demand the USDA ban bear pits throughout the United States.


Dear Mr. Vilsack,

In zoos across the nation, countless bears are stuck in concrete pits for people to look down upon and gawk at. Bear experts and veterinarians agree that bear pits are extremely detrimental to bears’ physical and mental health.

Bear pits can cause zoochosis, which causes bears to pace and walk in circles due to extreme boredom and lack of stimulation. Also, bear pits are covered in concrete which can cause arthritis, pressure sores and other injuries.

These pits deny bears everything that is natural. They cannot gaze out among the horizon, dig in the dirt or run through the trees. It is already detrimental to have this intelligent and curious animal in a zoo, but these pits make it even worse. Please consider banning bear pits throughout the United Statesin order to improve quality of life for these animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: BrianP

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  1. Rhona LaBruzzo says:

    USDA-How dare you let animals live like this? Do your jobs and start protecting the animals instead of bending the laws to allow this and other animal cruelty. Laws are not perfect and are updated, tossed and revised many times, other wise the government would be out of business.

  2. Kae Blecha, OTR says:

    Vilsack is useless. He does nothing for Nosey the Elephant, and she has her own Facebook page. My heart aches for these animals because of the incompetence of the USDA.

  3. David Lavery says:

    It would be best if people refused to visit these zoos, there are too many of them that are incapable of looking after animals properly.

  4. anne davis says:

    Sadly, Tom Vilsack doesn’t give a damn about animal welfare. Violations can build up year after year against many places that abuse animals and nothing is ever done. Vilsack needs to be replaced. Fingers crossed he will be with the new administration.

  5. Lisa Zarafonetis Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared. ?

  6. Across the country, bears who are used in the entertainment industry are treated horribly and the USDA is depended upon to protect these animals. But, the reality is this protection has not been enough. The USDA needs to acknowledge the barbaric treatment that bears undergo when they are restricted to living in pits, and to prohibit this antiquated method of imprisonment at once.

    The Animal Welfare Act has a legal order to make certain that animals who are used for display purposes “are provided humane care and treatment”. Bears being caged in underground, undersized, concrete cells? There is nothing the least bit humane about that!

    The USDA has a legal as well as a moral duty to make certain that bears who are exhibited are treated humanely, and until it does, these bears will continue to pay the price.

  7. Linda Barnett says:

    All wildlife belongs in the WILD not imprisoned in our world for man’s selfish whims and entertainment. It is about time that we permitted all creatures to live naturally in their habitats where they belong.

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