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13 Bears Rescued, Get a New Lease on Life

Animals
13 Bears Rescued, Get a New Lease on Life

By Jennifer O'Connor

The new Ohio Dangerous Wild Animal Act rightfully restricts individuals from keeping tigers, lions, bears and other wild animals. Rather than complying with the law, individuals and roadside zoos surrendered nine bears to authorities. Two of the bears gave birth to cubs (four in total) while in the state's temporary holding facility while officials searched for appropriate permanent placement for the animals.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) teamed up with The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado to get these long-neglected bears to their new, permanent home. They're now living the life that they've long been denied.

The bears were in dire straits. Some were underweight, while others were obese. Some were declawed and suffering from intestinal parasites or broken teeth. One bear, named Sweet Baby, was emaciated and housed in a tiny cage in a barn.

Four of the bears—Cheyann, Ersila, Romeo and Sherwood—came from the notorious Stump Hill Farm. Two of them were declawed and all of them had broken teeth. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited the roadside zoo for keeping bears in filthy, wet, ramshackle enclosures.

Waylon, Wally and Molly were living—if you can call their miserable condition "living"—at a now-defunct outfit called (far from) Heaven's Corner for Endangered Animals. Molly had a fractured tooth—the pulp was exposed—and Wally's teeth were in bad shape. Cages at the roadside zoo were dilapidated and rusty and some had sharp, jagged, rusted edges.

Ersila and Molly were pregnant when they were obtained by Ohio officials. Ersila gave birth to three cubs, while Molly is the proud mama of one little one. The four cubs are over the moon at their new home. Captive bear cubs are often taken from their mothers shortly after birth, but these mother bears will get to raise their own young, likely for the very first time.

What You Can Do

We have now rescued 56 bears from roadside zoos, but there are still bears in horrendous conditions all over the country. Ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture to take action for bears now!


A plume of smoke from wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest is seen from downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.

High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.

Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.

California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.

As reported by AccuWeather:

In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

For a deeper dive:

AP, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, New York Times, Slideshow: New York Times; Climate Signals Background: Wildfires, 2020 Western wildfire season

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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