This is Charolett, the Glacier bear mentioned in our origin section. This photo was taken in 1982 at the Glenn Randall Ranch in Newhall California. He was the Trainer of the Black Stallion and John Wayne's movie horses, along with many others. She was just out for a walk enjoying the grass and spotted one of Glenn's colts in the corral, then taking a leisurely look.
Jacki, one of the other 2 from The Anheiser Busch Corp. Weighing a little less than Andy. He is the dominate male of the show. His favorite pastime is eating, swimming and being lazy. This photo was also taken at home on our ranch in 2000. One of the very few winters that we actually had snow.
Marty, although she is no longer with us, but still has a place in my heart, was my most intelligent bear. She would actually discipline the other bears if she felt they were out of line. Kind of an old mother hen. She was one of the first 4, when we began the show. Photo also in 1994 at the Madison County Fair.
Mouchie, our European Brown Bear, which is also a species of grizzly. Born in the Miami Zoo in 1984. She is the photogenic one, loving to pose in front of the camera. This photo was taken just outside Yellowstone during a movie shoot called "Two Moons and the White Wolf". The film was never completed since there was a helicopter crash killing most of the film crew. Mouchie became a resident in a Wisconsin wildlife park in 1994 on a breeding loan.
Cindi. Born in 1999. An Orphaned Cub. Rescued and taken to a wildlife park in New Hampshire. At less than 1 year old at the time, she became too much for their staff to handle. Quite feisty, but with a little understanding of what a bears nature is, she settled right in. Currently an active participant in the show, she is the star. The public just loves to see her jump in the pool, then jump out, slap one of the older males in a playful gesture, then run and jump back in the pool again. She is also the comedian of the show. The public really gets a good laugh as she comes out and makes me look like a fool. This photo was taken in 2000 at Home on our ranch.
Another photo of Charolett going for a swim.
Issac, one of our original 4. This photo was taken at home in 1994. He weighed in at 554 lbs. Orphaned by a hunter killing his mother. Born in British Columbia and rescued by Canadian Wildlife Management, then transferred to London Ontario where we obtained him along with the 2 other original bears, since the park did not have the facility to Handle large cubs at the time.
Mr. Bear, whom is also Marty's brother and also rescued in British Columbia. He is the current live record holder black bear in captivity, weighing in at 634 lbs. Photo was taken during a little R&R playing at the Madison County Fair. He does like to play rough.
We have devoted this page to give out information of our Bears. How we began. Photo's and information of our Bears and how they are treated and cared for. Some of the features of the display and show when we are out at events. This section is for both, our clients and the public. We also have a section to inform you of those misguided individuals known as animal activists. What they represent and how they misinform the public and brainwash our children about animals in captivity. You will find this section very interesting and will learn the REAL FACTS.
This is Andy. Also an active member of the Great Bear Show. Born in 1992 in Missouri, As a cub, he was a resident of Grants Farm of the Anheiser Busch Corp. At 8 months old, he then became to big for their facility. We had taken him in, along with 2 other bears. Andy is also one of our breeding males who also enjoys traveling. This photo is during time off prior to the fair opening at the Madison County Fair in Rexburg Idaho 1994. He now weighs in at 485 lbs.
The Origin of
The Great Bear Show
As time went on and the bears grew, they had become fully seasoned the show had become fully operational as The Great Bear Show, appearing at fairs, sport shows, commercials, company picnics for large corporations, and many types of other events. As recognition spread, the bears became in more demand to repeat events year after year. As this word spread, it also spread to other parts of the animal industry. In the mid 80's to early 90's, other wild animal educational shows began to appear. Sure there were exhibits and see the giant (whatever) before us on the circuit, but we are very proud to say The Great Bear Show was the first wild animal educational show.
Our Bears just Being Bears
This is Mr. Bear and Issac in 2004, At 28 years old, which is about 8 years older than their wild cousins life span. Proper diet, shelter from the elements and hunters, along with veterinary care gives them longer lives. Although no longer with us as they passed away at the ripe old age of 31.
Other bears we have had, such as the female named Tanya, which was the 3rd from Anheiser Busch Corp. She went to St. Petersburg Fla. to a wildlife rescue foundation to be a breeding companion of a rescued male. 3 others, also orphaned by hunters in British Columbia in 1980, were trained and went to a wildlife park in the Mid West. 2 others born in the Denver Zoo in 1989, were also trained and went to a wildlife park in Porter Rico. 2 Female European Brown Bears, obtained from a facility also in Texas whom the owners were having health problems and no longer able to care for them were taken and given a new home. They are now residents and keep Brutis company at the Montana Grizzly Encounter Park in Bozeman Montana.
Diet, Care and Training
Show and Display Features
Animal Activists, believe it or not, are well meaning but misguided individuals whose love for animals have left them open to being manulipated by profiteers and fanatics who use them for personal gain. P.E.T.A. and other organizations prey on these people and promote their sympathy to raise money for themselves. Most of these groups have lost their I.R.S. charitable status because the money they raise, does not go toward the welfare of the animals but directly into their own pockets. These fanatics, set themselves up as judge and jury against people whom have animals for any reason. They condemn them without any facts or even seeing an animal display or show. They assume the animal is suffering. They see one event where someone has abused or mistreated an animal and use that event to make people think that everyone with animals abuses or mistreats them. They would have all animals run free and be equal with man. A truly beautiful thought, however unrealistic.
The Great Bear Show and our family history dating back over 80 years has been a leader in animal welfare long before it became a fashionable cause. We have cared for, managed, and provided top quality treatment for many different species of exotic and domestic animals. We have always treated and respected or animals as friends. We feed, groom, care, provide shelter and medical treatment for them. we live side by side with them 365 days a year, promoting a healthy exchange and companionship between humans and animals. We travel to various fairs and sport shows to educate the public which subsidizes the cost to maintain our animals and our operation and to help other animals like them.
When these individuals appear at an event to voice their misguided opinions, we never argue with them. Their minds have been manulipated for many years. One cannot change years of brainwashing with a single debate. We just explain the truth of what we do. We are a relocation program for orphaned cubs whom could not survive in the wild. We do our shows to teach the public about Bears. And most of the time they are home running free. Which is exactly what they want to hear in the first place. Of the very few times that we have had these animal rights people appear and confront us, they have left happy and some have even left us a donation.
It has never happened to us, but should a situation ever arise such as screaming radicals whom have nothing better to do than disturb the peace or worse. Rather than escalating the problem with a confrontation, our policy and our response would be to contact the event coordinator and let them use their diplomacy or contact authorities if needed.
Sorry if we hurt anyone's feeling here, but we do state the true facts.
Our Bears are omnivores. They eat basically the same things we do. Their main diet consists of fruits. vegetables and bread, with meat about twice a week. Approximately 20 to 25 lbs. a day each. Their meat is usually a 10 lb. brisquit each or fish. Other foods in their diet consists of lettuce, celery, oranges, apples, carrots, bell peppers, strawberry's, grapes, melons, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, mangos, kiwi, pears, peaches, plums, and bread. Ice cream and sweets are a fond dessert for them also. As you can see, it can be quite expensive to feed them.
Their care is 24 - 7 - 365 with no time off or vacations. During the day they get to roam on their 200 acre ranch and at night in their huge facility. They spend quite a bit of time in their swimming pool. Medical problems are rare with our bears since they are immune to most problems. The oil in their body keeps them from getting external parasites and they do get a internal parasite preventive every 6 months. Since they do live much longer than their wild cousins, they do develop ailments such as arthritis as they reach their mid 20's.
Our training starts when they are between 6 months to a year old. It basically revolves around manners. This type of training is very beneficial for both the bear and the handler. The same as a horse or dog. Bears are very intelligent and extremely fast learners. We train on a reward basis. Nothing is taught to them that is beyond their capabilities. The basics start out as trust. Especially with wild cubs whom are on the defensive. They learn to sit and come when called. Also a little patience. The reason for this training is once a cub has been orphaned, because of a hunter, whom has killed it's mother, it cannot survive in the wild. It must be a captive bear.
The bear's main drive is food. Without this training. A handler going in to feed or clean the bears environment could result in an attack. Once trained, the bear realizes that food is coming and will have the patience to wait as the handler distributes the food between them. In this way, the amount can be monitored as to which bear is eating how much. The same with cleaning. It is not a safe situation for a handler to enter the environment with several bears to clean and wash the facility, without the respect of both the bear and the handler of each other. Bears are very curious and inquisitive. An untrained bear would just take the broom or shovel away from the handler or bite into the water hose while the handler is cleaning. Needless to say the handler also needs to be trained to understand and respect the bear. If not, their natural response would be to try to take the broom or shovel back, thus resulting in an attack. The most important reason for training and gaining that trust is for veterinary care, when needed. With proper training, the bear can be touched, and even have blood drawn for lab work when needed without having to be tranquilized. Even though tranquilizers have become safer over the years, the use of any anesthetics is dangerous. Any care that can be administered without the use of anesthetics is the best and safest way to care for them.
Our display consists of a very large portable enclosure with a swimming pool for the bears and shade. The bears are on display for the public to see them just being bears. There are many informational boards about all species of bears and our project of how we save and rescue orphaned bears. Through the years we have found and are constantly improving our display which has resulted in being the number 1 attraction to any event we appear at. Our staff is always available to answer any questions the public may have. We also provide souvenirs for the public to purchase which helps to contribute to our rescue and relocation program for orphaned bears. The public may also get a photo with one of our bears during our photo sessions. We use a Plexiglas divider, allowing no contact between the public and the bear, making this a safe feature. We are also the ones whom have gotten this passed as a U.S.D.A. Law for anyone doing a photo session with wild animals as a requirement allowing no contact. The show is educational. We inform the patrons of the nature and species of bears in North America. Their sizes, populations, ranges and what to do and not do when hiking or camping in Bear country. Explain the difference of bears in the wild and in captivity. And show some of their skills, the same as they would naturally do in the wild, along with a little comedy. Even the so called animal activists cannot create problems at your event because our display and show is for the well being of the bear and not exploitation.
For those who want to know who leads these groups here is a little interesting information about an animal activist organization whom proudly calls themselves' P.E.T.A. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
"It would be a great thing if all of these fast food outlets, slaughterhouses, laboratories and the banks that fund them exploded tomorrow". Bruce Friedrich, Campaign Director P.E.T.A.
"Arson, property destruction, burglary and theft are all acceptable crimes, when used for the animal cause". Alex Pacheco, Chairman P.E.T.A.
"Even if animal tests produced a cure for aids, we' ed be against it". Ingrid Newkirk, Founder P.E.T.A.
"If we really believe animals have the same right to be free from pain and suffering at our hands, then of course, were going to be as a movement, blowing things up and smashing windows". Bruce Friedrich, Campaign Director P.E.T.A.
P.E.T.A. has admitted to giving more than $100,000 to convicted arsonists and other criminals who support their radical animal rights agenda.
P.E.T.A. also uses their tax-exempt contributions to support the North American Earth Liberation Front, which the F.B.I. has certified them as a domestic terrorist organization and were responsible for the $12 million dollar fire in Vail Colorado.
If you would like to learn more about these radical, organizations who think their cause is justified by illegal criminal activities and keep updated on their criminal behavior, just click the link below.
To start with, The Great Bear Show has been in existence since 1977. We have been regulated and controlled by Federal and State Agencies. U.S.D.A., Fish & Wildlife and C.I.T.I.E.S. Some of the regulations proposed have been a direct result of the Great Bear Shows operation and how we take care of our animals as a foundation for these law guidelines. Not once have we ever been in a non-compliance citation of these laws. Now read on for a little information about animal activists, their causes and how they are dealt with.
Andy and Rupert (Winner of the Survivor T.V. Show) getting their photo taken along side trainer Bob Steele at the Monroe Washington Sport Show. Evergreen State Fairgrounds 2005.
Just finishing high school in 1976, I had acquired my first 3 baby black bears in August of that year. Born in the Canadian Wild and rescued since hunters killed their mother. Confidence training began. Once the confidence and security is there, we begin to move on into the actual training such as sitting in chairs so we can have a hands on care for them such as drawing blood and other medical needs.
Obtaining my first contract for an event, I received my 4th bear. She was born in the wildlife park of where the event was to be. They gave her to me if I would have her in the show that year. She was unique since she was only one of 2 bears of the species of Glacier Bear of Blue Bear born in captivity, which just happens to be one of the rarest bears on earth..
Our family started in this business many years ago.
Beginning with my great grandfather, whom trained and worked with horses. My grandfather carried on the tradition with horses but expanded to buffalo and a elephant and starting a wild west show. My father went on to exotics as he grew up. He had trained and worked with many types of animals, but elephants became his passion and specialty. Devoting his whole life to them, he became one of the top elephant men in the country. Circus, Parks, Walt Disney movies and even a Rolling Stones concert were some of the events with his elephants. He started breeding them in the mid to late 70's to help the propagation of the Asian Elephant which had then been put on the endangered species list. The first baby was born in the early 80's outside of zoo's or the wild. Once word got out of the birth, it seemed like everyone else in the business who had elephants started breeding operations. In the mid 90's, the breeding operation had expanded, since his bull was a proven breeder and the largest elephant on the North American continent. Weighing in at well over 12,000 lbs. A company whom had 37 females combined with him and built a breeding facility on our property. He retired from traveling in 1994 where I took over his herd until 2000. During these 6 1/2 years, I had combined the elephants with the Bear Show. Once he retired, he finished his book which many consider it as the Elephant Bible. He continued the breeding operation until 2002 when he and the company had mutually dissolved it. I had been around these animals since 1958 and learned how to care for and train them until I started my own operation which is now known as The Great Bear Show in 1977.
Why we do it?
Growing up in the animal business, one gets quite attached to the animals they have. As times changed, with some of them becoming endangered species. I felt a need to do something. Hunting Bear is needless. There is no reason for it other than their own personal ego. The meat is greasy and stringy. The hides and parts are illegal on any market. Is it to thin out the population? No. Just go to the Bear Facts page and see just how many there are. Anyone can get a license, put bait on the ground and wait in a tree. If someone feels they have the need to hunt Bear, then try it with a pocket knife instead, at least the odds are a little more even for the bear. Orphaned cubs because of these hunters, will not survive on their own, some parks and zoo's become over stocked from breeding for their facility to handle. When the State Fish and Wildlife Agencies find these orphaned cubs or the U.S.D.A. finds unlicensed owners, we and other facilities are contacted to find a home for them. When we can, we take them in, train them to be able to be handled safely and try to find them good homes of facilities that have the room. We also take them on the road to events to educate the public about bears in the wild and in captivity. Our traveling is how we subsidize their lively hood so we can care for them.
Bucky & Brock. Born on February 1, 2007. Mother is Cindi.
Here they are not quite a year old and is their first day in their new home. Needless to say, not to soon either. My house is in shambles. Once they get accustom to their new surroundings, they too, will get out on the Ranch.
Andy and a couple of Hooter's employee's, doing a sponsorship promotion for the Tampa Boat Show. 2005.
As some of you have noticed, we and many others have been under attack by P.E.T.A. Making false pretenses and accusations. We have never been cited by the U.S.D.A. as they wish you to believe. We are constantly inspected by both U.S.D.A., State and Local authorities. Also we do not force our animals to perform. We travel periodically to educate the public about bears, both in the wild and captivity. What the bears do during the educational shows is what they naturally would do in the wild. These educational shows last approx. 60 to 90 days of the year in total and the proceeds all go directly to the bears. I personally make my living during the other 275 to 305 days of the year working in my shop while the bears enjoy life at home on the ranch just being bears. The bears are constantly cared for as if they were my kids and my vet is on call at any time should the need arise. So don't be fooled and brainwashed by these fanatics. Want the real facts about P.E.T.A., click the links below.