Bear cubs attract support despite protests

Margaret Turner and Maggie Guest visit the bears’ enclosure

Margaret Turner and Maggie Guest visit the bears’ enclosure

First published in News
Last updated

VILLAGE fetes often have pony rides, but Enstone’s show had a more fearsome attraction with three European brown bear cubs on display.

Visitors got to look at the young bears, called Maxi, Amelia and Silver, which were brought by Chipping Norton firm Amazing Animals on Saturday.

The company’s animal trainer Emma Hills said: “We come every year with a variety of different things.

“We’ve brought lion cubs and tiger cubs and other little animals for the children to interact with, like penguins.

“It’s very educational for kids because they ask questions, like where the bears come from and so on.”

This year’s show, held at Enstone Sports and Social Club in Cox Lane, attracted controversy after animal rights group Animal Defenders International (ADI) campaigned for the appearance of the bears to be cancelled.

Despite organisers receiving more than 600 emails from people complaining about the bears, after their email address was posted on Facebook by ADI, there were no protesters on the day.

The bears were on display in a caged-off area of a tent, with trees, water and food.

Margaret Turner, 77, from nearby Heythrop, said: “They’re gorgeous. Personally I don’t think this is doing them any harm, so why not?”

Her neighbour, 10-year-old Maggie Guest, said: “I didn’t know they could climb like that so young.

“This is like a mini forest which is where they would live anyway, so I think it’s okay.”

The show’s organiser, Kate Farquhar-Thomson, said: “The bear cubs are fabulous.

“We have never had any problems in the past, and we have different animals come every year.”

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