Florida Wildlife Officials Investigate Beardize Ranch Following PETA Complaint
For immediate release:
March 8, 2021
David Pearl 202-483-7382
Myakka City, Fla. – PETA just received a message from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) that the group’s complaint that the WZVN-TV newsgroup walked into the 300-pound bear enclosure at Beardize Ranch for the news segment led to a misconduct citation. for the owner of the roadside zoo Monica Velde. She is due to appear in court on March 13, where she will be charged with violating state captive wildlife laws.
Florida law usually requires a physical barrier between captive bears and the public, but the news channel showed a clip of a reporter inside a cage with no obstacle between her and the brown bear. The live broadcast on social media also showed that the reporter and camera operator were allowed to bring their hands to the bear’s mouth while feeding her honey, and the cameraman was shown petting the bear.
Last year, the FWC issued an official warning to Velde for tricking the same bear following PETA’s complaint that it had displayed her at a wedding with no barriers to protect those present.
“Bearadise Ranch continues to exploit wild bears that belong to nature and continues to break the law through recklessness and greed,” said Debbie Metzler, deputy director of the PETA Captive Law Enforcement Foundation. “PETA urges the public to exercise good judgment and avoid all roadside zoos and traveling animal shows, are these dirty operations shown on King of tigers or local news. “
PETA notes that the size, strength, speed of adult bears, long claws and large teeth make them especially dangerous for public display. The group has repeatedly approached Bearadise Ranch to allow the bears to be transferred to accredited sanctuaries, where they could roam freely, dig and forage at will, without being forced to gimmick or suffer in publicity stunts.
PETA, whose motto is in part that “the animals are not ours to be used for entertainment” – opposes arrogance, which is a worldview focused on human superiority. For more information please visit PETA.org or subscribe to the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram…