Animal rights activists Penelope Wilde (left) and Alex Wilde (right) of Ogden were among members of the Utah Animal Rights Coalition who briefly protested a display of bear cubs during the ongoing Baby Animal Days at the American West Heritage Center in Wellsville on Thursday.
WELLSVILLE – A much-ballyhooed demonstration Thursday against a Baby Animal Days bear cub exhibit at the American West Heritage Center here turned out to be four earnest young people from down south and one counter-protester from Preston.
The protest, orchestrated by the national staff of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was intended to highlight what the activists consider to be animal abuse by Yellowstone Bear World, one of the displays at the annual Baby Animal Days event.
That abuse, according to PETA, is removing tiny bear cubs from their mothers and thrusting the frightened young animals into the hands of strangers.
“Bear cubs stay with their mothers for up to two years,” said Debbie Metzler of PETA in a press release announcing the local protest. During that time, the organization emphasizes, the clubs play, explore and socialize, “if they are allowed to be bears.”
Instead, PETA charges, Yellowstone Bear World breeds baby bears and takes them from their mothers – when they are just weeks old and before they have even opened their eyes and seen their mothers – for use in public events like Baby Animal Days.
“The American West Heritage Center and Yellowstone Bear World are in the Dark Ages,” Metzler explains, “only interested in using these wonderful animals as selfie props.”
The bear cub display has been a major attraction at Baby Animal Days for several years. Parents and children at the event queue up to enter a building where they can observe the cubs being tended by handlers from Yellowstone Bear World. While the young animals can be photographed from arms length, visitors cannot physically interact with them.
The national press release promised that PETA supporters would join forces with members of the Utah Animal Rights Coalition (UARC) to protest Baby Animal Days. But only UARC representatives were on-hand during the brief protest. Four of them waved signs outside the gates of the American West Heritage Centers along Hwy 89/91, while Baby Animal Days activities continued without pause a few hundred yards away.
The protesters were led by Jeremy Beckham of Salt Lake City, the executive director of UARC. He was joined by Amy Meyer, wearing a bear costume. Meyer is also a Salt Lake resident and a veteran of a similar PETA-organized protest at the JBS plant in Hyrum in June of 2020. The other UARC protesters were Alex and Penelope Wilde of Ogden.
Their protest signs read “Baby Animals Belong with their Mothers” and “Bear Cubs are Not Photo Props.”
Beckham refused to discuss a suggestion that the UARC protesters were themselves photo props for PETA.
“I don’t understand the question,” he replied.
“We’re completely in agreement with the mission and purpose of PETA,” Beckham explained. “If they have more resources than we do and they can mobilize people, get signs printed, notify the media and get our message out, I think that’s great.”
While acknowledging that the handlers from Yellowstone Bear World weren’t physically harming the bear cubs being displayed during Baby Animal Days, Beckham still insisted that the animals were being “psychologically damaged.”
A single counter protester from Preston attracted almost as much attention as the UARC members.
Identifying himself only as “Johnny Boy,” he loudly proclaimed that he “loved baby bears and eating meat.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is a non-profit group based in Virginia. The group claims to have 6.5 million supporters worldwide. Its moto is: “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment or abuse in any other way.”[3
Yellowstone Bear World is a privately-owned drive-through wildlife park in Rexburg, ID, near Yellowstone National Park. The park boasts eight different species of wildlife, including brown and Grizzly bears.
Baby Animal Days activities will continue at the American West Heritage Center through Saturday.
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Cache Valley to hold ‘Spring Baby Animal Days’
CACHE VALLEY, Utah (ABC4 News) – American West Heritage Center announced it will hold its annual Spring Baby Animal Days over Memorial Weekend in Wellsville.
Baby Animal Days will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 22, 23, 25 in Wellsville, six miles south of Logan.
“We have been working hard behind the scenes to create an event that is CO-VID 19 compliant
and available for our patrons to enjoy again,” says Mic Bowen, director of the American West
There will be interactive, hands-on experiences baby chicks, baby mini goats, baby turtles, a baby zebra, baby foxes (kits), a teenage camel, and if the possibly a baby bison (red dogs).
Advanced ticket reservations are required and the number of guests allowed will be limited to
ensure that social distancing requirements are met. Guests are encouraged to wear face masks or
facial coverings while visiting.
Admission is $8 per guest. You can purchase your tickets online at www.awhc.org. Memberships will be available and can be purchased for individuals and families. Memberships include free admission and discounts to the Center’s various year round events.
The last ticket will be sold each day at 4:30 p.m.
American West Heritage Center is located at 4025 S. Hwy. 89 in Wellsville. For more information, call 435-245-6050 or visit www.awhc.org.
Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.Sours: https://www.abc4.com/news/local-news/cache-valley-to-hold-spring-baby-animal-days/
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Spring is the best time to find Baby Animals in Utah! We love visiting these local farms and venues that have animals we can pet and hold, especially the little babies. Here are some spots where we always enjoy baby animals in Utah.
This is the Place Baby Animal Days
One of our favorite stops any time of year in Utah is This is the Place Heritage Park. This state park does such an amazing job making Utah pioneer history come alive. And Spring is such a fun time to visit because the farm is full of baby animals. In 2021, there are not special Baby Animal Days, but baby animals will be there, as well as all the fun activities that normally happen at this park. The train rides are opening back up, too! Hooray! March 27 is the beginning of Spring Season at This is the Place.Mention Utah’s Adventure Family and save $2 off per ticket through the Spring.
American West Heritage Center Baby Animal Days
This is another stop full of history. American West Heritage Center is located in Wellsville in Cache County near Logan, Utah. This old farm has beautiful grounds to walk through and enjoy the farm, animals, beauty, and old farm buildings. Their baby animal days are extra fun because they bring in baby bear cubs to add to the farm animals. This event is only two weekends (April 1-3 and April 7-10), so make sure to get your tickets online beforehand. Check their website for hours and pricing.
Farm at Gardner Village
The Farm at Gardner Village is always full of fun farm animals, but just like the other farms mentioned, once Spring hits, baby animals start to show up. Tuesdays are $2 admission days through the end of April. They offer pony rides for an additional charge through the village. This cute little farm is also located at Gardner Village where you can find fairies in the springtime, too (arriving mid May).
Hee Haw Farms Spring Event
We love visiting Hee Haw Farms in the Spring or Fall. They always have tons of fun activities like huge slides, hay rides, duck races, and of course, a petting farm. Visiting in the Spring means baby animals all around Hee Haw Farms. We especially love this petting farm because you get to walk right into the large pen with them. The Spring Season at Hee Haw Farms runs from April 8-May 8, 2021.
Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point
Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point always has a lot of animals since it is a farm, but we love visiting in the Spring to see the baby animals. They have food available to purchase, so you can feed the goats and other animals on the farm. Farm Country usually throws a baby animal birthday party in May, and the dates for 2021 are May 14 & 15. Advance tickets are required. There will definitely be plenty of baby animals to see any time you visit Farm Country.
Cross E Ranch Baby Animal Festival
Cross E Ranch hosted a fun drive thru baby animal days festival in 2020, so everyone could see the babies despite Covid. In 2021, they are returning to their regular festival where you can walk through their farm, enjoy the slides and zipline, and ride the barrel train. Make sure to enjoy some of their donuts. They are so yummy! This event runs from April 2-May 8. For pricing, visit the Cross E Ranch website. Use code BABIESareBACK to save 25% off tickets for the first week of the event (April 2-8).
Heber Valley Baby Animal Days
Heber Valley Artisan Cheese has a little farm in Midway Utah. We took a tour of the farm one day and loved learning about the different robots they are using to make farming more effective. It was so cool! We got to feed the calves, too. One weekend a year (April 16-17, 2021) they have baby animal days. Lots of local farmers bring different baby animals and they have hay rides and yard games. It sounds like a really fun event. For tickets and hours, visit their website.
Baby Animal Days at USU Extension
We drive past the USU Botanical Center in Kaysville quite often. There are trails and birds to see at this outdoor center. Every Spring, they host a two day baby animal festival where visitors can visit with baby animals, and also learn about how to care for and raise farm animals. They have fun events like milking goats and shearing sheep. There are pony rides and train rides going on as well. All proceeds go to the USU Botanical Center and Davis County Extension 4-H youth education programs, so you are supporting these great programs, too. Tickets go on sale April 7 and the even is May 7 & 8, 2021.
Wheeler Historic Farm
Wheeler Farm is a historic working farm in Salt Lake. This farm is full of animals, and beautiful nature areas. There are wagon rides and cow milkings, as well as a duck pond. In the Spring you will definitely find baby animals on the farm. We love exploring this farm, and there playing at the playground, too.
Staehli Farm in St. George
There is one farm in southern Utah that has been allowing visitors. Staehli Farm is located in Washington, Utah and has fun events in the Spring, Fall, and Winter. On March 19 & 20, 2021, they will host their Spring into Easter Event filled fun spring activities and baby animals on the farm. We can’t wait to visit this farm when we head down south. Visit their website for tickets and info.
Clarkston Historic Farm Barnyard Babies
This small historic farm is hosting their Banyard Babies on April 24 and May 1. They will have lots of baby animals, as well as pony rides and “animal talks.” Check their website for hours and pricing.
The American West Heritage Center
is proud to present
Q: Do I have to buy tickets online?
A: Due to COVID-19 restrictions currently in place, tickets will be limited to this event. To make sure you have a spot reserved for the day of your choice, we encourage you to purchase tickets in advance online.
Q: Do I have to wear a face mask?
A: Yes, in order to remain open and provide a safe environment for patrons and animals, we are requiring guests to wear face coverings, remain socially distanced from other households, and sanitize your hands before and after visiting each animal.
Q: What if I don’t feel well, if it’s outside and lot’s of space provided may I still attend the event?
A: If you do not feel well, we ask for the safety of patrons, staff, volunteers, and animals that you please safely take care of yourself somewhere other than the AWHC grounds and not attend the event.
Q: What is your social distancing policy?
A: The AWHC grounds are significantly large enough to accommodate many patrons and their household members and still maintain social distancing standards of six feet between households. Please take care to do your part to stay in your households and maintain social distancing of six feet or more between other non-household members.
Q: What do you mean by more animals and more space?
A: It means literally more animals over a larger, more spread-out configuration of our spacing at the AWHC. It is our intention to provide each household with a chance to interact with animals in a setting where social distancing standards are maintained. More viewing and interactive areas are planned for chicks, ducklings, calves, kids (baby goats), lambs, baby turtles, etc. More space will be provided for the specialty animals to be viewed and displayed. All in an effort to provide an outdoor, socially-disanced event for you and your household to enjoy.
Q: Will I be able to pet the animals?
A: Yes, most animals you will be able to interact with and pet. We do ask that you sanitize before and after petting them. There are exceptions; the bears, as always, will only be for your viewing pleasure. Also, you will only be able to view the piglets, and some of the exotic animals. USDA has provided us with COVID-19 guidelines for animal interaction. Any animals that you will not be able to physically touch will be clearly marked as such.
Q: Will you be selling food?
A: On our main festival days (April 1-3 and 7-10) we will have food vendors and concessions available. On April 5 & 6 limited concessions will be available.
Q: May we bring our own food?
A: Yes, you are welcome to bring your own food. Areas for picnicking on the grass as well as picnic tables will be available.
Q: Will we be able to ride the train and ponies?
A: Yes. However, due to current restrictions for COVID-19 the train and ponies will be operating at limited capacity. Please be patient as we work through the situation as effectively as possible.
Q: If I buy passes for the event for one day are they good for any other days?
A: The passes you buy will allow you access to the event ONLY for the day you have selected. If you would like to visit multiple days, please see our membership program by clicking here.
Q: What if I have a question that isn’t answered by visiting awhc.org?
A: You may dial 435-245-6050 to visit with a representative of the AWHC during business hours or email [email protected]
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