This article by 10 News San Diego, updates readers on the rescue and relocation of Albert, Cherry Bomb, Teddy and Baloo- four captive bred bears from North Carolina who were rescued by our team at Lions, Tigers & Bears and will now have a forever home at our sanctuary.Posted: 12:43 PM, May 25, 2014 Updated: 3:19 PM, May 25, 2014
ALPINE, Calif. – Four captive-bred bears that spent their early years as roadside tourist attractions in North Carolina then were confined to a yard are on their way to an exotic animal sanctuary in Alpine.
The East County rescue team from Lions, Tigers and Bears picked up two Silvertip Grizzlies, named Albert and Cherry Bomb, and two Himalayan Black Bears, called Teddy and Baloo. They had been caged at a home near Watha, North Carolina. The four bears began their 2,500 mile-plus journey Saturday, according to the organization.
Albert and Cherry Bomb were born at Cherokee Bear Park, a roadside zoo, and were displayed in concrete pits. While cubs, they were used as props for kids to have their pictures taken with.
A lawsuit against the park alleging it violated the federal Endangered Species Protection Act was filed last December, according to Lions, Tigers and Bears.
Teddy and Baloo were born at Tote-em-in Zoo, and lived under similar conditions, officials with the rescue organization said.
They were eventually auctioned off and ended up with private owners who then turned them over to the rescue organization because they were no longer able to properly care for them, officials said.
All four bears had been declawed and had not received proper medical care for years, according to the rescue organization.
Lions, Tigers and Bears personnel loaded each bear into transfer cages, which were then placed into an air conditioned exotic animal hauler with running water Friday afternoon. The bears rested overnight and were examined by a veterinarian before they hit the road Saturday.
The team stopped in Arkansas Saturday night and left for California Sunday.
The bears and the rescue team are expected to arrive at Lions, Tigers and Bears, 24402 Martin Way in Alpine on Wednesday.