Bob Barker asks to end NC bear pits

July 29, 2009 7:25:42 AM PDT
Former game show host and longtime animal rights activist Bob Barker hopes to convince the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina to close bear pits used as tourist attractions.

Barker met Tuesday in the town of Cherokee with Chief Michell Hicks to discuss the use of bears. Debbie Leahy of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals accompanied him.

Barker will discuss the meeting at a news conference Wednesday morning in Asheville. He wrote to Hicks in June asking that he close bear pits at three locations.

Hicks told the Asheville Citizen-Times that the tribe follows federal regulations in caring for the bears. Barker says bear pits are inhumane.

Barker is part American Indian and grew up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

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