Yellowstone Bear World in southeastern Idaho is a drive-thru wildlife park where, according to its website, "visitors will be surrounded by the free-roaming wildlife of North America." However "free" is the last thing these animals are.

A feature investigative report done by The Post Register has exposed the wildlife petting zoo for what it really is - a captive exhibit that exploits animals for profit. The "zoo" doesn't even have accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Eyewitnesses, animal rights groups, and documented reports reveal that profits are in fact prioritized at the cost of the physical and mental well-being of the animals. Furthermore, these animals are subjected to what researchers call "zoochosis," which is like a mental illness for animals caused by confinement stress all so that the owners can make a pretty penny. 

Bear cubs at Yellowstone Bear World are reportedly intentionally taken away from their mothers prematurely so that they are acclimated to being around humans. It's not just unnatural but this act is also harmful to the bears' development. Jay Pratte, director of animal care, conservation & education at New York's Utica Zoo and president of Bear Care Group says to The Post Register that this type of separation "can cause permanent distress to both the cub and their mothers, affecting their behavior for the rest of their lives."

In the wild bears stay with their mother for two years. At Bear World, cubs are separated at just one or two months. The park even admitted to this in a 2017 Facebook post.

 "The cubs are with their mothers until they are two months old, then they are cared for by our keeper staff.... We do this for the safety of the cubs, safety of our staff, as well as the safety and overall quality of life of their mother."

Bear World does not provide a safe environment for either animals or humans. With all of the incidents and accidents that have taken place over the years according to former employees, the place should be shut down and arrests should be made. However, the park is reportedly not required to file reports that happen on their property so a lot of things get swept under the rug.

Despite this, there are still several citations gathered by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals. These violations include:

  • underfeeding animals
  • failing to provide adequate veterinary care including proper vaccinations
  • failing to maintain a primary enclosure in good repair

It's a small world in the world that exploits animals for profit. Despite what the park claims, state records actually show that Yellowstone Bear World has actually shipped at least 96 bear cubs to owners running facilities with "controversial histories." Some of these bears have gone to the Tiger King himself, Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka "Joe Exotic, who may I remind you, is in jail for 17 counts of animal abuse and 2 counts of attempted murder.

You can read up and learn more for yourself about the misconduct and mistreatment of animals at Yellowstone Bear World here. 

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Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart


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