The four billboards, erected by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, feature a cartoon image of a crying bear and read, “Warning: Tourist Trap. Avoid Cruel Bear Pits.”
PETA last summer asked the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to close the bear zoos on the reservations because of what the group called inhumane conditions. Some of the Cherokee zoos keep the bears in concrete pits.
A federal inspector in May 2009 noted three problems at the Chief Saunooke's Bear Park, but those had been corrected by July, a tribe official has said. Game show icon Bob Barker traveled to Cherokee last summer to help PETA.
For more on the subject, see Bear Pits = Boarding Schools and Why PETA Brought in Barker.