By Dale Neal
“Things are going to change on the Cherokee Reservation, I promise,” said Barker, the game-show host and animal advocate.
Barker became involved at the request of the wife of Rep. Bill Young of Florida. The Youngs visited Cherokee last summer on a family vacation, and Beverly Young said she was outraged when she saw bears kept in concrete pits.
“What they’re doing is not bringing tourism here. It’s turning our stomachs,” Mrs. Young said at the press conference held today at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Asheville.
Barker got the audience he wanted in meeting with Principal Chief Michell Hicks and five members of the Tribal Council for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on Tuesday.
But he didn't get so much as a hint the tribe would do anything to try to change living conditions for bears in private zoos on the reservation.
Below: "Former game show host Bob Barker appears at a PETA press conference in Asheville about the treatment of captive bears in small enclosures in Cherokee." (Bill Sanders)