Candice Chandler, Global Animal 

Exotic animal ranch Jambbas Ranch Tours has been in hot water with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violations against animals kept at the ranch for years. However, the USDA keeps renewing Jambbas’ license to keep enclosed wildlife, despite their disregard for the federal Animal Welfare Act. Now with footage of the mistreatment of one resident, Ben the bear, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, and two concerned North Carolina residents have taken action by filing a lawsuit to prevent Jambbas’ license renewal. 

ben the bear
Ben the bear has shown continuous signs of stress while being in his tiny concrete enclosure, like biting the fence that surrounds him. Photo Credit: Animal Legal Defense Fund via PETA

The violations against the “natural zoo” include unsanitary living conditions, hazardous enclosures, failure to provide adequate veterinary care, and failure to supply sufficient quantities of food and potable water. Ben’s enclosure, pictured above, is concrete and metal fence, and he is not allowed to go anywhere else. Other animals at the ranch include goats, elk, bison, cows, pigs, rabbits, sheep, deer, and dogs. 

Not only is Ben suffering, but the other animals at the ranch are also in danger. Many have untreated veterinary illnesses and show psychological anguish through abnormal behavior. 

PETA sent a video of Ben pacing his enclosure to bear experts, prompting them to write letters to the USDA demanding Ben be put in a sanitary environment where he can live a healthy life. His actions during the clip are unusual, and the stress he’s under from pacing his concrete pen mirrors a prisoner behind bars. 

Sign the petition to get Ben and the other animals suffering at Jambbas Ranch the help they need!

After spending hours observing him, bear expert Else Poulson says, “Ben exhibits the typical aberrant behaviors of a sensory deprived bear in a substandard enclosure with substandard husbandry practices. His day consists of pacing, begging for bread from visitors, and sleeping—nothing else.”

The lawsuit filed against Jambaas Ranch will hopefully put the ranch out of business for good. PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement, Delcianna Winders says, “Ben and the other animals at this despicable menagerie suffer every day of their lives, and county residents are now leading the charge to put an end to this cruelty.”

The animals living at Jambbas ranch have suffered for far too many years, and it’s time the USDA acts in support of Ben and his fellow prisoners. The profit generated from visitors of the ranch are not put toward the welfare of these animals at all, and it’s time they be taken away from Jambbas’ greedy grip. 

Watch the footage PETA filmed of a moment in Ben’s life: