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Wildlife

PETA says law prohibits the petting of bear cubs at Oswald's Bear Ranch

Oswald's Bear Ranch.jfif

NEWBERRY, MI— People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has notified the Michigan DNR that Oswald’s Bear Ranch can’t allow people to pet cubs until at least 2026.

The facility was fined $2,400 last month after the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that owner Dean Oswald violated the Animal Welfare Act. Two bears escaped in 2019. One was shot and killed.

The Large Carnivore Act prohibits direct contact with large carnivores unless the bears are less than 36 weeks old or 90 pounds or less. But that’s only if the exhibitor hasn’t been found noncompliant with the AWA and hasn’t been issued a monetary penalty within the past five years.

PETA has asked the DNR to notify Oswald’s it’s prohibited from allowing patrons to pet cubs until at least December 6, 2026 and to hold the ranch accountable for any violations.