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SPCA gets complaint about bear

A complaint has been made to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals about the treatment of a bear which was brought to Bermuda as part of the upcoming ?Animal Extravaganza? shows.

SPCA Inspector Beaman Smith confirmed that he had a complaint from a member of the public who was concerned about the animal because it has been making loud noises.

The woman, Debbie Masters, said the bear was ?bellowing? all night and it appeared to be in pain. She added that the bear in question was not being housed with the other animals.

?The tigers seem to be in good shape but the condition of the bears is deplorable,? she said. ?It?s just awful what?s happening. The bear is making so much noise. It?s just not humane.?

Mr. Smith said he would visit the site: ?I am going to make sure things are in order and that we ? the organiser, trainers, Government and myself ? are all in agreement that the animals are OK.?

He added that the animal could be making loud noises for a number of reasons. The Government Veterinary Officer Dr. Jonathan Nisbett could not be reached yesterday but it is believed that he too would visit the animals.

He inspected the animals three times after they arrived last Sunday.

The shows, which start today, have angered many animal welfare groups over the last two months. They are opposed to large animals being shipped to Bermuda purely for an entertainment purpose. Prior to the Ministry of Environment granting DNA Entertainment permission to bring the show to Bermuda more than 20 complaints were sent to the Minister including letters from

Captive Animals? Protection Society, which is based in the UK.

The Minister, Neletha Butterfield, said that the letters and complaints contained generalisations regarding animal cruelty, but lacked any evidence of violations by the exhibitors.

The shows begin today and will feature tigers and bears as well as other international and local animal acts.

For information about show times and to purchase tickets visit www.dnashows.com or call 293-5555.