"These vulnerable cubs face lifelong psychological suffering," Keaton says in the PETA video about bear cubs living in roadside zoos

By Kelli Bender
July 11, 2019 11:43 AM

The actor behind Batman and Birdman is speaking out for animals.

Michael Keaton recently made a PSA with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) about the devastating damage roadside zoos and animal photo-ops can cause for innocent creatures.

In the video, Keaton, 67, specifically focus on bear cubs captive in roadside zoos, calling on tourists to not visit operations that exploit animals — like those that offer selfies with bear cubs.

“In the wild, bear cubs stay with their mothers for up to two years,” Keaton, who recently starred in Dumbo, says in the PETA PSA. “But across the country, cubs are being taken from their mothers as infants to be used as photo props by profit-hungry exhibitors. These vulnerable cubs face lifelong psychological suffering. And because their immune systems aren’t fully developed, every public encounter risks their life.”

RELATED: ‘Habituated’ Black Bear Killed by Oregon Officials After Too Many People Took Selfies With it

The actor adds that bear cubs used for these up-close animal encounters are often harassed to behave for tourists, and then ignored by their caretakers and kept in cramped cages when they are not posing for photos.

“[I]t’s fine to take pictures of yourself but just don’t involve animals .… It’s simply a question of respect, you know? They’re living creatures, so I just don’t like when their [dignity] is taken away or they’re made to look silly,” Keaton said in statement to PETA.

This new PSA is continuation of PETA’s fight to end the use of animals for human entertainment. Keaton is one of numerous celebrities, including Alec Baldwin and Peter Dinklage, that has partnered with PETA to speak out about animal causes they are passionate about.

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