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Bear refuge rescues animals from exotic animal market

The Southeast Texas Bear Refuge (STBR) is a place where bears who have been bred in captivity and used in the entertainment or pet trade industry can come to have a chance at life as it should have been for them, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The non-profit organization started after Jason Mayfield and Sammi Jo Stohler agreed to adopt a man's bear once he passed away. After that, people continued to call the duo, who are now the directors of the STBR, asking them to take in other cubs.

Now, the Willis, Texas-based sanctuary provides care and welfare for orphaned, abused, abandoned, neglected, confiscated or captive-bred surplus black bears, the STBR website reports.

The organization's goal is to help the rescued animals live as closely to how they would live in nature as possible, Mayfield told the news source. Two bear cubs they have now, Ami and Ernie, were pulled from their mother before they had finished nursing to be used in the entertainment industry in print ads. After several days at work, they were considered "retired" and were headed back into the pet trade, when Mayfield and Stohler received them. Now they live on 5,000 feet of land where they eat and play all day. 
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