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September 4, 2008

Manfreid, the Kodiak bear, spent most of his life before his rescue by PAWS, living in a filthy, metal horse trailer which he shared with a grizzly bear. The two were “movie and television stars”, purchased as cubs from a zoo surplus list and bottle raised to keep them “tame” for their performances.

Kodiak bears are the largest land carnivores; the males are enormous, weighing over 1000 pounds. In the wild, they roam over large territories eating a variety of foods: from elk, fish and other prey to grass, berries and bugs. They are the ultimate survivors, incredibly intelligent and resourceful. In captivity, they languish in tiny animal training compounds or sterile zoo exhibits, going mad with boredom and inactivity.

When the trainer who owned Manfreid was no longer able to handle the two huge bears, he left them in the horse trailer on a vacant lot in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two bears had been in the scorching heat of the summer for several months surviving on small rations of dog kibble and one small dish of water provided by a neighborhood teenager. When animal control seized the trailer, the two bears were malnourished, dehydrated and covered with feces and filth.

Today Manfreid prowls around his grassy enclosure, stopping for a cooling dip in his pool, digging underground tunnels and savoring the treats scattered around his habitat by his devoted keepers. He weighs over thirteen hundred pounds and bears little resemblance to the emaciated animal who survived in a horse trailer.

Although his habitat is no substitute for the wild, Manfreid can dig for bugs, browse among the trees, eat grass and challenge the robins, magpies and Clark, the rooster, who invade his territory and share his meals.

Manfreid is living testimony to the cruelty inherent in the use of live animals in entertainment. Manfreid’s former trainer is still collecting young bear cubs and using them for profit until they grow too big and too expensive to keep, leaving them in roadside zoos or empty lots as he moves on to make another happy animal movie.

We urge everyone who reads Manfreid’s story to boycott the use of live animals for entertainment, and write letters to the producers and others who market shows exploiting animals. To make a donation in memory of Manfreid, please click the donation button below his picture. Thank you.


Donate in memory Manfreid


Performing Animal Welfare Society
PO Box 849, Galt, CA 95632

(209) 745-2606 office/shelter
(209) 745-1809 fax

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