Oscar Winning Actor Joaquin Phoenix has recently asked for the bears that were used as inspiration for the 2003 Animated Disney Film Brother Bear. The Florida based animal park “Bearaside Ranch”, who are currently housing the two bears received a letter from the actor asking for the bears to be retired from show-business and sent to a wildlife animal sanctuary. The two bears, Bambi and Bruno, served as the references for the animators on the film learning how bears moved and acted.
The actor stated: “I voiced the movie’s main character, Kenai, who, as a lesson in empathy, is magically transformed to be able to see the world through bears’ eyes, and now I’m asking you to see through their eyes, too. These bears deserve better than a life on the road, where they are robbed of everything that’s natural and important to them… Bambi and Bruno will never experience life in the wild. They’ll never get to sniff out salmon runs or traverse mountains — but that doesn’t mean their lives can’t improve.”
The letter also attracted PETA, because of course it did, and they published a video hit piece against the ranch.
Bearaside Ranch owner, Monica Welde, did not take the letter too kindly and responded on Facebook: “We do not want to be taken away from our loving home with the Welde family. We have been a part of their family for 92 years. They love us, give us proper care and a natural habitat to enjoy, and we share a special bond with them of mutual love and respect that enriches us. We are fed every day and get veterinarian checkups several times a year. With you, we are certain to die. With the Weldes, we are free! Free from hunger and starvation. Free from disease. Free from poachers, and free to give love and be loved. Stop threatening and terrorizing our family!” adding that they are licensed with various state and federal agencies.
It’s a pretty sticky situation, you know, because bears like honey. I’ll stop with the bear puns. But it is difficult to understand what is truly best for an animal when us humans can’t truly understand how they think. At this current time it is unknown if this situation may escalate any further.
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