6 min read

Sad Bear Waited 10 Years For Someone To Save Her From Cage

Look at her life now 😍

For the past decade, Ben and Bogey have only seen the world from behind bars.

Trapped in a roadside zoo in North Carolina, the two bears spent every day locked in separate cages so paying guests could watch them and take pictures.

bear rescue zoo north carolina
Bogey in her cage at the zoo | PETA

Bogey paced back and forth on the concrete floors of her cage all day, desperately biting the bars in frustration.

Ben, on the other hand, was suffering from arthritis and sores on his face that received little to no veterinary attention. He spent most days just lying still from the pain.

bear rescue north carolina
Ben looking out behind the cage bars at the zoo

The bears were so miserable there — but luckily, help was on the way. PETA stepped in to rescue the bears and arranged a wonderful new home for them at the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado.

Now, after a year with expert care and room to roam free, they’re like completely different animals.

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Bogey inside her cage

“Bogey once paced incessantly, obsessively licked her paw, and bit at the bars of her cage — all signs of extreme psychological distress — but after a year of living in a reputable sanctuary, she no longer engages in any of these types of behavior,” Catie Cryar, senior media liaison for PETA, told The Dodo. “Ben once suffered from painful arthritis to the point that he couldn't even climb the steps to enter his pool, but he now receives expert veterinary treatment and his symptoms have improved.”

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Ben relaxing in the grass at Wild Animal Sanctuary | PETA

At the sanctuary, both bears spend their days swimming, playing and foraging — something they’ve likely not done their entire lives.

Because Ben is a brown bear and Bogey is a black bear, they have been introduced to others of their own species at the sanctuary. They're loving the opportunity to roam free in the grass and feel the sun on their fur, all while being able to socialize with others of their kind if they choose.

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Bogey eating a snack outside in the sun | PETA

As with exploring open land for the first time, it’s also likely the first time since being infants that the bears have lived among others of their kind. In the tourism industry, bears are often torn from their mothers as cubs for use in various attractions like petting experiences or cub selfies.

“Across the country, hundreds of bears spend their lives confined to small concrete-floored enclosures or pits in roadside zoos,” Cryar said. “Some cubs are separated from their mothers as infants, so instead of being nurtured by their moms, they spend their days being forced to participate in photo ops with tourists. Their lives are typically devoid of any comfort or outlets for engaging in natural behavior.”

Luckily, these strong bears are free of that treatment after so many years.

Cryar said she hopes their story will encourage people to help others like them by avoiding any tourism attraction that features live bears in captivity.

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Bogey walking near her pool at the sanctuary | PETA

“Ben and Bogey are just two of the 72 bears PETA has helped rescue from dire situations in the past six years,” Cryar said. “That number will keep growing until no bear is locked behind bars in a barren pen or concrete pit, or exploited in traveling shows.”

To support the continued care of Bogey and Ben, you can make a donation to The Wild Animal Sanctuary.