A black bear is making his new permanent home in San Andreas.
Ben the Bear, formerly of Jambbas Ranch in Cumberland County, N.C., will be staying at the Performing Animal Welfare Society ARK 2000 sanctuary after a court ruled Aug. 27 that his former home could not meet his needs.
Cumberland County Court District Judge Kimbrell Tucker had issued a preliminary injunction Aug. 9 that allowed Ben to move cross-country and the final ruling upheld the transfer.
The bear had lived in a 12-by-22 foot cage at the roadside zoo for six years. Ben now lives in the Bob Barker Bear Habitat where he has 2 acres with trees, grass and a pool, according to Pat Derby, a co-founder of PAWS.
“He loves it,” Derby said. “He’s all over the place and in and out of his pool at least four or five times a day.”
FedEx provided a free flight for Ben within a day of the injunction and PAWS co-founder Ed Stewart joined him aboard what the crew affectionately dubbed “Bear Force One.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals joined in the suit filed by two Cumberland County residents who became concerned about Ben’s cramped living conditions. According to the Fayetteville Observer, about $2,600 that Jambbas Ranch had raised toward a new enclosure for Ben will be paid to PAWS to recoup some of the costs for his removal and subsequent care.