Bear Path Acres needs help

Published 11:06 am Wednesday, October 27, 2010

FRANKLIN—A 3-year-old, 330-pound tame brown bear named Sugar could soon be the newest resident of Bear Path Acres Animal Education Center if enough money can be raised to build a habitat in time.

“All I can say is she does need a home within 30 days,” Debbie Jeter, president of Bear Path Acres, said last week. “She needs us now, and she doesn’t have long.”

The zoo is accepting donations to help build a habitat for Sugar, who is living in a Pennsylvania zoo. The zoo is remodeling and needs Sugar’s habitat to expand another exhibit.

Jeter said Sugar would be the only brown bear in Virginia.

“We’re halfway there, but it’s the biggest task we’ve faced,” she said.

Brown bears are related to grizzly bears and are native to northern states and Canada. Jeter said Sugar would require a pool or Jacuzzi to survive the region’s heat.

Tax-deductible donations can be made for Sugar at any Towne Bank or Bronco Federal Credit Union, through Paypal, or by contacting Bear Path Acres.

Bear Path Acres also recently welcomed a cougar named Moon. Moon was born July 1 and is half Florida Puma and half Western Cougar, Jeter said.

Bear Path Acres is a charitable and educational organization that acts as a sanctuary for more than 100 exotic and farm animals, non-releasable wildlife, reptiles and birds.

The zoo is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 until 5 p.m. Adult admission is $8 and admission for children ages 4 to 12 is $5.

The Dorothy Beale Trust Fund, D.B. Gray, Bayport Credit Union and Towne Bank have been strong supporters of Bear Path Acres.