All Cherokee bear zoos should be shut down

To the Editor:

It’s about time that the USDA finally suspended operations at Chief Saunooke’s antiquated concrete pit in Cherokee. Now is the time for Chief Michell Hicks and tribal council members to make this permanent.

Anyone who continues to cage wild animals in cheap sideshows for profit should be shut down. It is simply cruel, inhumane and totally disrespectful to the animals. Black bears in the wild require up to 50 square miles of territory, not 50 feet of concrete! 

Cherokee has changed so much from when I was a kid, and I am so proud of all the progress that has taken place. But how can a such a disgraceful practice be allowed to continue? My blood is not full Cherokee, but I was taught to respect all of God’s creatures, and the bear spirit is among the most sacred. It is to be revered, not caged up for tourists to snap pictures of while it paces back and forth in misery. 

Please do the right thing and shut down all of these horrible zoos. We should not need PETA to point this out.

Mylan Sessions


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