Michigan’s governor approves plan to allow bear cub petting zoos

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Michigan’s governor has approved a plan to allow bear cub petting zoos.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder amended Michigan’s Large Carnivore Act Tuesday. The amended measure now allows the public to interact with bears up to 90 pounds and 36 weeks old. People will be able to pet, hold, feed and take pictures with bear cubs.

The act originally prohibited people to have direct contact with carnivores, including bears.

The issue came to the governor’s attention after U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials tried to shut down Oswald’s Bear Ranch. An anonymous tipster reported people were feeding the cubs fruit loops.

Animals rights activists and veterinarians have been vocal in their opposition to the plan. They say the bill seriously compromises animal welfare and public safety.

Lawmakers limited the bill’s reach earlier this month in response. The measure only applies to businesses already offering bear petting.


  • stkittchick

    Gee grandma, nice lesson to your little ones. It's ok to exploit young animals, cause them fear and stress, to rip them away from their mothers even though they are still nursing … as long as you get your kicks. Think about what you're teaching your grandkids: Hurting animals, causing them emotional and mental distress is acceptable. Please, think about it.

    Making this legal is mind-boggling. Animals need to be protected, not manhandled! For shame, for shame, for shame to those who voted yes to this, and to anyone who perpetuates the animals' misery by buying a ticket. If you genuinely care about animals, you'll shun these cruel outfits.

    • beverly

      I do not think this is a good idea. I feel this would not be teaching how to protect these bear cubs, as well as teaching our children to not approach a bear cub in the wild. Kids may see this as an opportunity to pet a wild animal in a "protedcted environment" at the zoo, but what about coming face to face with a very protective Mother Bear in the wild protecting her cubs. I thought that zoos were dedicating their so called professional skills to "teach" the protection of the animals in a protective environment, not only for the cubs, for for the public's safety as well.

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