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Bear and foxes rescued from roadside zoo in Tawas City make it to Colorado sanctuary

The defunct roadside zoo, which entered into an agreement with PETA to relinquish a black bear...
The defunct roadside zoo, which entered into an agreement with PETA to relinquish a black bear named Dolly and the foxes it still held and never again to acquire or possess any wild or exotic animals(WJRT)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 1:53 PM EDT
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TAWAS CITY, Mich. (WJRT) - After years without proper veterinary care at a Michigan roadside zoo, a bear and foxes are safe in their new home at a Colorado sanctuary.

In a report from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, it was indicated that various animals were kept at Sunrise Side Nature Trail and Exotic Park located in Tawas City, where they had spent years without any veterinary care. The animals arrived Friday morning at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, after being rescued.

This cross county move comes just after federal authorities confiscated an injured bear named Grizzy, who they said had suffered for months with a wound that had become necrotic without veterinary attention from the Tawas City roadside zoo.

Sunrise Side Nature Trail and Exotic Park was said to then entered into an agreement with PETA to give the organization a black bear named Dolly and the foxes it still held.

The Tawas City park was then told that they were never again allowed to acquire any wild or exotic animals. The animals, now in PETA’s care, were immediately transferred to a sanctuary in Colorado.

“These animals will finally have the expert veterinary care and rich lives they deserve, now that Sunrise Side has emptied its cages,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel for Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA encourages everyone to help animals by steering clear of roadside zoos.”

In a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports, reports that a bobcat at Sunrise Side was obese, had matted hair, and appeared to “walk gently as if in pain” and that a lion was so thin that his bones were visible.

PETA said that they had learned that the bobcat has since died and that the Tawas City park plans to send the lion to another roadside zoo in Michigan. After this transfer, there will be no animals left at Sunrise Side.

In reports made by PETA, they said that before Sunrise Side closed to the public, it had racked up a long list of federal Animal Welfare Act violations, including an incident where a lion bit off part of a visitor’s finger.

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