July 29, 2009

Barker calls for tourist boycott

Eastern Band dismisses bear treatment protests from Barker, PETA

By Dale NealOn a second day of exchanges over zoo bears, Chief Michell Hicks of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians brushed off complaints by Bob Barker as the former game show host vowed to keep pressing for change.

Barker called for a tourism boycott of the Eastern Band and said Western North Carolina would feel economic repercussions if the treatment of bears doesn't improve.
Barker's view:Barker at his news conference said the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce would be hearing from animal lovers from across the nation about the treatment of bears on the reservation, about 50 miles away. “We feel it's a problem for the city of Asheville having this Third World spectacle happening right at its doorstep.”

Barker became personally involved at the request of the wife of U.S. 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 how bears were treated in private zoos.

“Fur was literally hanging off of them,” she said. “We treat terrorists in Guantanamo better than these bears are treated, and these bears didn't do anything to us. We invaded their land.”
The Cherokees' view:The three roadside zoos on the reservation—Cherokee Bear Zoo, Chief Saunooke Bear Park and Santa's Land—are inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which makes sure they comply with the federal Animal Welfare Act.

The Eastern Band's wildlife office also inspects the zoos.

The Animal Welfare Act requires standards including a safe, clean structure for caged animals, removal of animal waste and adequate food and water. Federal inspectors make unannounced visits once a year.
Comment:  American invaded Indian territory and put Indians on reservations. Indians invaded bear country and put bears in pits. Is this some sort of psychological transference thing? Calling Dr. Freud!

Who gets treated better...Guantanamo "terrorists" (suspects held unconstitutionally without a trial) or Cherokee bears? Hmm...hard to say. But I'll bet the bears are treated better than the victims of US torture at Abu Ghraib.

Best guess is that Barker, PETA, and the Cherokees will come to some agreement in which the Cherokees admit no wrongdoing but agree to upgrade the facilities.

For more on the subject, see Barker Bearish After Cherokee Meeting and Barker to Meet Hicks.

1 comment:

Melvin Martin said...

Beverly Young should get her own gig as a talking bear as she bears an (no pun intended) eerie resemblance to one (a fat one).

As for Barker, one of my uncles used to take me to the mortuary in Denver where he worked back in the early '80s and I am pretty damned sure I saw Barker lying face up in a purple coffin then...