“The Simpsons” co-creator Sam Simon sets the bar pretty high when it comes to being an activist for animal rights (How many people do you know who have a Sea Shepherd vessel and PETA’s Norfolk, Virginia headquarters named after them?), but he’s not one to rest on his laurels.
Last week, Simon helped free 17 bears that were found living in barren concrete pits at a roadside zoo in Georgia. In collaboration with the Atlanta Humane Society and PETA, Simon was able to safely relocate the abused bears to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado.
Thanks to Sam Simon, these bears went from the miserable existence that they endured for years to the freedom and joy that they’re experiencing today. Bears don’t belong in roadside zoos, deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them, including being able to feel the earth beneath their feet.
Before they were relocated and given the freedom to explore and nest in more than 60 acres of stunning natural habitat, the bears were spectacles at the Black Forest Bear Park in Helen, Georgia. The animals were forced to beg tourists for scraps of food and were housed in dangerous, decrepit pits that featured jagged edges, protruding bolts and provided little protection from the elements. Thankfully, the Georgia facility has been permanently closed for violating federal laws set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
PETA had been working for more than a year to save the bears held captive at Black Forest, and thanks to the generous donations and tireless efforts of animal activists like Simon, these bears have finally escaped abuse.
Photo credit: Howard Stern Show