Judge Grants Ben The Bear Permanent Sanctuary

Posted on August 27, 2012

Lawsuit Against Jambbas Ranch Means New Life for Bear Who Had Languished for Years on Cement in Chain-Link Kennel

For Immediate Release

Lisa Franzetta, ALDF
David Perle, PETA

Fayetteville, N.C. – Cumberland County District Court Judge Kimbrell Tucker, in a lawsuit brought by concerned North Carolina citizens represented by PETA, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), and local counsel, has signed a permanent injunction that allows a bear named Ben–who had been confined to a barren concrete cage at Fayetteville-based roadside zoo Jambbas Ranch Tours for six years–to reside permanently at the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California, where he can forage, swim, and build his den under trees. Ben lived in solitary confinement at Jambbas Ranch, which caused him to suffer physically and psychologically. He was denied everything that is natural and important to bears. Judge Tucker entered a permanent injunction that ended Jambbas’ ownership of Ben and awarded permanent ownership and custody to PAWS. Ben was flown to California via a FedEx climate-controlled plane on August 9 after Judge Tucker issued a preliminary injunction. The permanent injunction also forbids Jambbas from acquiring, owning, or possessing any bears in the future; seeking any state wildlife captivity licenses or endangered species permits relating to owning or possessing any bears; and using Ben’s former concrete cage as the primary enclosure for any wild or exotic animal.

At the PAWS sanctuary, Ben is thriving in a vast natural habitat–one that is measured in acres, not feet and inches–where he bathes in his own pool, rubs his back on trees, and sleeps soundly in his large straw nest under oak trees.

"Ben now has the chance to live like a bear again, finally able to roam, play, and forage," says General Counsel to PETA Jeffrey S. Kerr. PETA’s local counsel, Calley Gerber, adds, "Today’s news ushers in a victory for animals across North Carolina who are confined in similarly cruel conditions."

ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells says, "Ben’s treatment was cruel and illegal under North Carolina law, and the court stopped it, plain and simple." Adds ALDF local counsel, Gavin Parsons, "We’re very pleased with the court’s order and wish Ben well in his new home."

Video footage of the transfer and of Ben in his new habitat at PAWS is available upon request.

34 thoughts on “Judge Grants Ben The Bear Permanent Sanctuary

  1. Dawn F. says:

    God Bless you Ben!!! Enjoy your new Life Beautiful Beautiful Boy xoxo Thank you ALDF for yet saving another Life..thank you for being their Voices. God Bless you. Please share Footage of Ben in his new home xoxo

  2. Bettina Murray says:

    Thank you for the work you do. My heart soars with the thought of Ben finally having grass under his paws and the ability to move around in peace and freedom. Please keep up the noble work you do – one animal at a time.

  3. Sarah Bird says:

    LOVE YOU, BEN!!!… I am so thrilled that you have found safe sanctuary !!… So many thanks and many blessings for the awesome people that pulled this together !!! woot woot !!!

  4. Ann N says:

    Wonderful news! Thank you for assisting in giving Ben his freedom.

  5. Matthew says:

    I am glad to see that the laws are finally starting to take animal care and abuse seriously. We still have a long way to go but it is a start!

  6. J says:

    Way to go PETA and Calley!!! You guys rock and best wishes to Ben for a long, happy bear life.

  7. Polly Smith says:

    Thank you for all your hard work! I am so glad to support this organization.

  8. Steve says:

    It would be great to see some video footage of him enjoying his new home at some point in the future.
    Great news!

  9. Kathy says:

    Thank you to all who worked to free Ben from his terrible, cruel life in his cement cage! We need more success stories, as exotic animals are being hoarded in homes and inadequate facilities all of the country. We need laws to forbid this, as well as free the animals that need to be returned to their wild habitat. Thank you for your efforts.

  10. klaere rush says:

    Now they need to put those jerks in that concrete cage. No need for it to be empty. I am so happy for Ben. Free at last.

  11. Cris says:

    Lets destroy the cage before some other unfortunate animal is stuck in it!

  12. Gina says:

    So wonderful to watch Ben enjoying himself. A good sanctuary example for 1100 other Ben- farmed bears in Korea if they are rescued from horrible bear bile farms..from all threat… in the country. Ben is a lucky boy. Love to find our more about this sanctuary, how big in size and all that.

  13. Dee says:

    Thank you ALDF, PETA and everyone who fought for Ben’s release, and to PAWS for giving Ben a forever home. It’s wonderful to see Ben in his new habitat, especially playing in his pool…Love “Bear Force One.”

  14. Anne Williamson says:

    Thank you to Cumberland County District Court Judge Kimbrell Tucker for making the right decision. Thank you to ALDF, PETA, and everyone who worked so hard to get Ben out of there. Everyone should be so proud of themselves for saving Ben. I’ve seen videos of Ben in his new home and he looks so happy!

  15. Dennis Peternell says:

    I am so happy for Ben to finally enjoy the freedom he deserves. I only hope and pray that Tony the truck stop tiger will enjoy the same freedom soon! I cannot wait to view a video of Tony in his new home. Eleven years in a cage for Tony is a travisty. It makes me very sad for him. Thanks ALDF and PETA for all that you do for the animals we love.

  16. ThomasB says:

    This little step forward makes my heart happy.If we can do that for one bear,what about 10 or 15 of them.Would it be a big step forward?I think so!!!

  17. Jeff Jameson says:

    Job well done folks! Hoping Tony the truckstop tiger will get a similar result soon.

  18. Lucy Muller says:

    Thank you ALDF and PETA and all who signed petitions and donated for Ben. What a beautiful video! Now if we can get the bears free from the Native American roadside place in Ashland, North Carolina, we will be even happier.

  19. Janna Cadenas says:

    So heart touching to see something behind those eyes for a change! All I ever saw in previous pictures of Ben was a tortured soul. You can see happiness and a new brightness to his face. Thank goodness people exist with kindness somewhere in their hearts.

  20. jac says:

    Thank GOD for ANGELS on earth! Bless you all for caring enough to fight for Ben.

  21. Barry Kybird says:

    Wonderful to see Ben free & thanks to you all that made his freedom possible.

    A wake up call to all the others that have bears held in captivity, to free them.

    It would similarly be great if the same pressure could be exerted to the people (not really the correct word) to describe them, that have bears Katya, Klava and Pasha a boar along with other animals caged in 6 foot by 3 foot cages 24 hours every day, with very little food, water, never cleaned and no vet care, trapped in a rusting disused bus at an old circus site near st Petersburg in Russia.
    There’s a video of their plight on the Internet.

    They need help so badly to get them out of their hell hole to a sanctuary !!

    Barry Kybird in the UK

  22. mike says:

    Thanks so much for this.

  23. JoAnne Gallop says:

    This is so wonderful for Ben. It’s been a long fight started with none other than Bob Barker, I asked for some good news today any good news and to see this wow the best news I could ever ask for! May Ben have plenty of years of freedom and comfort God Bless the people who were involved in this ALDF, PETA and all the people who signed petitions for our dear Ben.

  24. Keira Boynton says:

    Oh my goodness. I am an David animal activist and lover of all things alive. The animals who inhabit this earth with us are amazing. We should only feel so lucky to share this planet with them. I cried when I watched this video. I am so happy that Ben will finally get to live life how he should, as a bear and not a possession. Thank you PETA and the dear judge who granted him his freedom. How do I join PETA?

  25. Brenda Greaves says:

    Well done ALDF ! That’s wonderful news for Ben and a victory against those who only see animals as property.

  26. Bailly Jean-Pierre says:

    I am so happy that Ben will finally get to live life how he should, as a bear and not a possession.Thank you for all your hard work!

  27. Cathy Popp says:

    I was smiling so hard my face hurt watching Ben enjoying his new home. Thanks to everyone especially ALDF who made this wonderful thing happen. I have high hopes for Tony.

  28. ANGÉLICA VIDO says:


  29. Linda says:

    Congrats ALDF and PETA! I was crying of joy and happiness now that Ben will be able to enjoy his freedom and his new home!!

  30. andrea says:

    Watching Ben in the water fascinated him,reminded me of a baby taking a bath and splashing around,what joy on his face,lovely to watch.

  31. Denise says:

    It’s unbelievable that animals are treated like this but it’s awesome the legal system worked for Ben to be free. I am so happy he has a good home now.

  32. Robin Gondek says:

    Thank you Rikki Harrison for making this whole thing possible. Without you and your perservence none of this would have happened. Thank you ALDF, PETA, and FED EX for helping and supporting Rikki. She did a wonderful job and with your help Ben is now where he should be. I am proud she calls me MOM…

  33. Luisa Lisciandrello says:

    Once again, thanks to your tireless efforts another animal is freed from misery. I have tears in my eyes as I watch him frolicking in his new pool and couldn’t think of a better Christmas gift. You have my unwavering support and dedication to continue to help win the fight against animal cruelty!

  34. Frances Oelbaum says:

    To all at ALDF & PAWS – blessings to you – you are indeed the angels on earth. I wish Ben a life filled with an abundance of joy and peace. May he never know despair again for all his remaining days.

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