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Joan Jett advocates for release of lone bear living in a “concrete pit” at Pennsylvania roadside zoo

on August 21, 2018, 3:07pm

Joan Jett is speaking out on behalf of Bosco, a 23-year-old bear confined to a barren patch of concrete at Pennsylvania’s Pymatuning Deer Park. In a letter sent to Rachelle Sankey, the park’s owner, the punk rocker is asking that the bear be moved to a “comfortable, reputable sanctuary” where he can “enjoy extensive space, independence, and the veterinary care that he so obviously deserves.”

PETA has offered to handle the costs and logistics of Bosco’s transfer, so long as Pymatuning Deer Park is willing to cooperate. A press release from the animal rights organization notes that the bear is showing signs of arthritis, while Jett points out that the facility’s only other bear died last year, leaving Bosco without “the comfort of a companion.”

“Bears are sophisticated, playful animals who thrive when given space and freedom to run, dig, and swim far from human activity,” Jett writes. “But at this roadside zoo, Bosco is denied everything that’s natural and important to him and condemned to a life surrounded by stone walls and gawking tourists.”

Read Jett’s full letter below:

Dear Ms. Sankey,

With each decision I’ve faced in my career, I’ve counted on my instincts to make the right choice. After learning about Bosco the bear, those same instincts told me to take action. I’m writing to you today to ask that you trust your own gut, recognize that he has no business living alone in a concrete pit, and allow PETA to place him in a reputable sanctuary.

Unlike you and me, Bosco can’t follow his instincts while he’s at Pymatuning. Bears are sophisticated, playful animals who thrive when given space and freedom to run, dig, and swim far from human activity. But at this roadside zoo, Bosco is denied everything that’s natural and important to him and condemned to a life surrounded by stone walls and gawking tourists. After the death of the facility’s only other bear last year, he doesn’t even have the comfort of a companion.

At over 20 years old, he’s especially prone to injury in these dangerous conditions and likely experiencing physical and psychological distress already. Please, allow him to live his remaining years with dignity at a reputable sanctuary, where he could enjoy extensive space, independence, and the veterinary care that he so obviously deserves.

My friends at PETA are offering to facilitate Bosco’s transfer and pay any associated costs. Take a lesson from me: Listen to your instincts, and please give him a life in which he can follow his.