Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bears Get Treats, Toys at Refuge in Ohio

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bears Get Treats, Toys at Refuge in Ohio

Article excerpt

COLUMBUS, Ohio * It turns out doughnuts, dog food and Gatorade are bear necessities.

At least those were the preferred foods of Dewey, a 400-pound Asiatic black bear temporarily housed at a state facility in Ohio.

The building holds wild creatures confiscated or surrendered under Ohio's exotic animal law, which was strengthened following the release of dozens of animals including lions and tigers by their suicidal owner in 2011 in Zanesville. Authorities fearing for public safety killed most of the animals in a headline-capturing saga.

At least five alligators and two bears have come through the state's roughly $3 million facility since it opened in February. Ohio's agriculture department then looks for permanent housing for the critters in sanctuaries or zoos.

Groceries and supplies for the hungry boarders have topped $1,025 since the end of May, according to records obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.

Items included a 20-inch jungle ball for the bears bought online for $225 and five, 5-foot kiddie pools for alligators from Wal-Mart for about $74. …

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