6-year-old wins PETA Kids award after seeking justice for bears - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

6-year-old wins PETA Kids award, seeks justice for bears

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Cruel bear pits (Source: PETA) Cruel bear pits (Source: PETA)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC ( WECT) - A 6-year-old girl from Leland is receiving a Compassionate Kid Award from PETA Kids due to her leadership in seeking justice for bears suffering at Chief Saunooke Bear Park in Cherokee - among others.

Riley Etheridge, who attends The Roger Bacon Academy, celebrated her birthday by having all of her friends write letters to politicians, and others, urging them to shut down the state's bear pits and send the animals to a sanctuary.

"The kindness and drive of this 6-year-old should serve as an inspiration to people of all ages," says Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. "Riley reminds all of us that young people often help look out for the most vulnerable among us."

According to a news release, between July and October 2012, PETA's undercover investigation of Chief Saunooke Bear Park revealed the systemic neglect and abuse of bears. They were deprived of food and stressed from being confined to barren concrete pits.

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