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Alaska Zoo responds to claims of grizzly bear negligence

 Phil Walczack / KTUU
Phil Walczack / KTUU (KTUU)
Published: Jun. 19, 2016 at 12:29 PM AKDT
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A recent online petition is claiming the Alaska Zoo has been negligent in the care of its grizzly bear exhibit.

The petition accuses the zoo of failing to provide a sufficient habitat, specifically, “No forest for any comfort except for a couple of dead pine trees in their empty cage.”

Author of the petition, Amy Smith, says she launched the effort after seeing the bears on a trip to the Alaska Zoo with her husband.

Zoo director Patrick Lampi said the bears are well cared for.

“My reaction is, unfortunately, the people just didn’t know what they were talking about,” Lampi said.

The director went on to defend the exhibit explaining there are natural water sources inside the exhibit in response to criticism in the petition.

“The other thing that they said is the bears have no water. As you folks have seen the south fork of the Little Campbell Creek actually runs through a corner of the brown bear exhibit,” said Lampi.

While the zoo acknowledges the exhibit is not perfect but says it provides everything the bears need.

“Bears like to dig around in the natural sub straight,” said Lampi. “They are not active all the time, but they don’t have to be since they aren’t out hunting for food.”

The

shows the petition is nearing 700 signatures with 1,000 being the goal.

“We request that the board immediately reallocate funds to reconstruct the grizzly bears exhibit into a natural habitat,” writes Smith in the petition.

Currently, three grizzly bears live in the exhibit Izzy, Oreo, and Jake. KTUU reached out to the author of the petition but did not hear back.