Helen is a pleasant little town in the northeastern part of Georgia. They’ve done it up to look like a Bavarian village with the Appalachians serving as a substitute for the Alps. There are various recreational opportunities nearby and of course there’s an Oktoberfest every year. Another of the local attractions was the Black Forest Bear Park. But for the unfortunate bears who lived there, it wasn’t much of a park.
Black Forest Park had 17 bears that had all been kept there since they were born. These bears were forced to live in deep concrete pits. All they could do, day in and day out, was pace back and forth and beg for treats like apples and bread from visitors. The pacing was a sign of severe stress. Another classic symptom some of the bears exhibited was chewing away patches of their own fur.
Even worse, mamma bears at Black Forest Park had their cubs taken from them right after they were born. Often, restraints were required, and no wonder!
Fortunately, a rescue was coordinated by the Atlanta Humane Society in partnership with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Sam Simon, the co-creator of television’s “The Simpsons.” All 17 bears were taken to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado. Once there, they were released into a 60 acre habitat. They were free to roam around and got to feel grass and fresh earth under their paws for the first time. They also were provided with artificial dens and top-notch veterinary care. But perhaps the most heartwarming part of this story is that the two mamma bears were pregnant and arrived at the sanctuary just in time to give birth there. Needless to say, they finally got a chance to raise their own cubs.
We’ve posted the rescue video for you below. Be sure to let us know what you think in the Facebook comments. Also, don’t forget to like and share!