Ricki the bear's 16-year stay at an ice cream parlor may be coming to an end.
Ricki's owner, Jim McDaniels, told Pennsylvania's York County Dispatch Wednesday that it's "very likely" he'll agree to retire her to a sanctuary, adding that he'll know for sure next week. His business, Jim Mack's Ice Cream, in York, Penn., is the target of a lawsuit brought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), which says that Ricki's current conditions - confined to a small chain-link enclosure eating dog food and corn - are inhumane.
Another local paper, the York Daily Record, reported on Wednesday that McDaniels said he and his lawyers had submitted their choice for a sanctuary for Ricki.
But Amanda Welling, one of the plaintiffs in the civil suit, said that she and ALDF had received no such document. She also said that McDaniels was not allowed to choose the sanctuary; that decision depends on what the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, an organization that accredits sanctuaries, has available.
Ricki's plight gained international attention when actor and animal advocate Ricky Gervais weighed in, calling for her retirement.