Second complaint filed against WSU bear research center

Media Coverage About SAEN Stop Animal Exploitation Now


Contact the USDA to Demand a Maximum FINE against Washington State University:

Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Western Region, USDA
(970) 494-7478
[email protected] 
[email protected]


Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against Washington State University for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act when their negligence killed bears and sheep. Their negligence in allowing staff to fatally overdose bighorn sheep and also in allowing bears to become seriously debilitated should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


Second complaint filed against WSU bear research center
By Whitney Ward,, June 6, 2016

A second formal complaint has been filed against Washington State University’s Bear Research Center.

On Monday, the animal activist group Stop Animal Exploitation, or SAEN, filed an official complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, claiming “negligent deaths and other violations of federal law.”

SAEN said it has been examining the public records that KREM 2 posted online last month.

KREM 2’s Whitney Ward obtained more than 1,000 pages of veterinary documents and internal emails as part of an investigation into WSU’s bear center. Those records date back several years.

The animal activists said WSU’s own documents “raise even more red flags” about “possible negligence” at the center.

WSU’s grizzly bear research center continues to take heat for multiple animal deaths over the last six years.

This is the second USDA complaint against WSU in less than a week.

The latest report suggests inadequate veterinary care at the bear center and cites at least two more grizzly bear deaths in the last three years.

In 2015, a five-year-old male, Sam, died of possible gastric ulceration.

In June of 2014, a female grizzly, Mica, was found dead in her pen. A necropsy report showed she had a ruptured uterus, which caused sepsis and ultimately killed her.

The complaint details the deaths of two yearling cubs, Chester and Remi, in 2010. They were placed in hibernation dens in the fall, but never went into full hibernation and virtually starved to death.

An internal veterinary record from WSU explained how bear center staff were trying to feed one bear fruit cocktail.

It states, ”At the end, he was apparently so tired that he would take the cocktail into his mouth, chew a few times and then quit.”

The record also stated, “And even as his strength was failing, he was still trying to eat laying down, but he could not even hold up his head.”

Both bears had to be euthanized.

It is important to note, these are formal complaints filed against WSU, but the USDA still has to investigate. The agency will likely do a focused inspection of the facility to see if there is any validity to these claims.

From there, they can dismiss the claims, they could city the bear center and require some form of corrections or they could cite and find the center up to $10,000 per animal, per violation.

When KREM 2 spoke with WSU officials, they said they are aware of the complaint, but confident that corrections have already been made. They said it is now up to the USDA on how to proceed. 

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