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Rescued North Carolina bear to remain at PAWS

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Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:06 am, Thu Aug 30, 2012.

A bear that made national news will remain at the Performing Animal Welfare Society's San Andreas sanctuary after a judge ruled in favor of the Galt-based organization.

"Ben the Bear" was rescued from a North Carolina roadside zoo, and after a legal battle fought by PETA, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and concerned citizens, he will now live out his life at PAWS.

Before his relocation, Ben spent six years at Jambbas Ranch in Cumberland County, North Carolina. His world consisted of a 12- by 22-foot concrete floor and a chain-link fence. He was given an old bowling ball and some moldy stumps of wood for enrichment, according to PAWS.

He was fed dry dog food, which his "caretakers" dumped onto the concrete. His interaction with others was limited to being gawked at by visitors and an occasional piece of bread tossed to him by a tourist.

Two concerned citizens saw him, agreed to take action and with the help of PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, filed a cruelty-to-animals lawsuit. Earlier this month, a judge determined the conditions did not meet the bear's health and well-being needs.

She issued a preliminary injunction earlier this month that allowed PETA to transfer Ben to PAWS. The final ruling was made Monday.

The bear arrived at PAWS on Aug. 10 after FedEx flew him across the country for free.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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