The bears are owned by Rosaire’s Bears, a company that trains wild animals for entertainment and moves them around the country to perform at different locations. This performance, which was captured in a video, took place in April at the Shrine Circus in Bangor, Maine.
“This is run-of-the-mill for circus acts,” Debbie Metzler, a captive wildlife specialist for the PETA Foundation, told The Dodo. “The two bears, believed to be Indian and Chopper, were almost constantly slapped, poked and jabbed. They were pulled hard by leads, and coerced to walk and sit like humans, push carts and climb ladders, which are all things that can lead to muscle and joint pain, injury and even chronic psychological distress.”