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Barker asks chief to end bear pits

Associated Press

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Former game show host and longtime animal rights activist Bob Barker has made a personal appeal to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina to stop exhibiting bears in pit-like enclosures at three local zoos.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that Barker met Tuesday with Principal Chief Michell Hicks and five members of the Tribal Council. He called the bears’ conditions inhumane and asked that they be turned over to a sanctuary in California.

"To think that with as advanced as our civilization is now that there is any place in the United States were bears are kept in pits is just unbelievable," said Barker, who is part American Indian and grew up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. "Just picture yourself, if your life, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, month after month, was in a pit."

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