Politics & Government
2:30 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Michigan's zoos opposed to 'bear cub handling' bill

A couple poses with a bear cub at Oswald Bear Ranch, Newberry, Michigan
Courtesy of Pure Michigan

Legislation to allow tourists to hold and pose for photos while holding bear cubs is being criticized by Michigan’s zoo keepers.

The state senate passed a bill this month that would allow exhibitors to let people come into very close contact with bears less than nine months old and under 90 pounds.

The legislation is intended to help a bear sanctuary in the Upper Peninsula that funds its operations, in part, by letting tourists hold and pose for pictures with bear cubs.

Tara Harrison says that’s a bad idea.  She’s the veterinarian at Lansing’s Potter Park.

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2:43 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Exotic animals killed in Ohio puts spotlight on Michigan bill

The tragedy that unfolded for the exotic animals near Zanesville, Ohio on Tuesday night and Wednesday highlighted the lack of regulation in Ohio for a particular type of animal compound.

Terry Thompson kept bears, tigers, lions, monkeys, and other animals on his property.

He reportedly did not display them to the public for compensation, and was not required to carry a permit from the USDA. And an Ohio state law regulating exotic animals had expired.

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