The group alleges that the bear is living in inhumane conditions without a natural landscape or mental stimulation. Veterinarian Dr. Ursula Bechert, who observed Ricky in person, said in a press release that "this hard [concrete] substrate is what the bear lives on 100 [percent] of the time, and in the winter, it gets very cold." She added that a "slow and torturous decline in physical and mental health is inevitable for this bear."
Jim Mack's Ice Cream is an ice cream parlor, miniature golf course and animal enclosure. An employee told The Dodo that McDaniel was not in on Wednesday and declined to give another number to reach him. But the York Daily Record reports that in 2011, he defended Ricky's captivity, saying:
"She is definitely not mistreated. It wouldn't make sense to mistreat her ... She's the star of the show."
Other animal advocates agree with the ALDF's plea for Ricky's retirement. A petition calling on customers to boycott the store has already gained more than 6,000 signatures.
"The conditions for Ricky the bear at Jim Mack's Ice Cream are grossly inhumane," Debbie Leahy, captive wildlife manager at The Humane Society of the United States, told The Dodo. "Bears are highly intelligent, active animals, and Ricky has nothing to do but pace in a small concrete cage and wait for customers to toss her some food."
Leahy said that Ricky should be relocated to an accredited sanctuary, a place where she could express normal behaviors and receive care from professionals.
"Based on the complaints, customers to Jim Mack's are not amused; they're sickened by Ricky's sad and lonely plight," she said.
According to Jim Mack's website, the facilities also house pigs, goats and llamas "for the kids to feed."
See this page for more information on how to help retire Ricky to an accredited sanctuary.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that the ALDF filmed the video of Ricky. In fact, the video was shot by one of the plaintiffs in the case.