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“Ben the Bear” – A Personal Account

August 29, 2012

ben_bathing.png blog

At FedEx, every shipment has its own unique story. It could be someone’s wedding gown, life-saving medical supplies…and sometimes, a bear!  

Earlier this month, I was privileged to be part of the team that rescued a black bear-grizzly hybrid named “Ben.” As a relatively new FedEx team member, I’d heard the many stories of how FedEx had helped rescue abused animals from deplorable conditions. Now, I had the chance to help give Ben a quality of life he had never before experienced.
For years, Ben had been confined to an awful 12’x22’ concrete cage in a roadside North Carolina zoo. After a long battle with the zoo owner, several rescue organizations successfully won the right to move Ben from his deplorable conditions to a lush animal sanctuary in Northern California. After making the decision to donate the transportation, a forty-two person team dubbed the flight “Bear Force One”, and provided Ben with all the comforts he might need as he journeyed nearly 3,000 miles to his new home. Now Ben is roaming free in his new habitat, eating well, splashing playfully in his own pool, and sleeping in a natural den. You can see a video of him at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-saGa5H4Ii0.
Even though this was my first involvement in a rescue move, this one seemed a little extra special, at least to me. Maybe it was because we donated the transportation, or the fact that Ben and I share the same name, or that I was able to feed him fresh pieces of fruit and granola during his layover here in Memphis. Regardless, I felt great pride to be part of an organization that always seems to above and beyond when times are tough. And if Ben could talk, I’m quite sure he’d say “thank you” to all of us who work at FedEx.
Ben (the human) Hunt, FedEx Services


    Tonjha says:

    You all are so cool to do this. That poor bear now has a new life and a new family, Thank you for caring!

    betsy says:

    Wow !! Great Job FedEx and Ben. Thanks for helping Ben the Bear have a better life.

    Jen M. says:

    It’s so nice to know where Ben is now. My children and I have visited the ranch on many occassions. Ben was the only animal there that was pent up in a small space. It’s so sweet of you all to have taken him to give him a better life where he is not made prisoner and can roam and enjoy a natural habitat. BLESS YOU!!! <3 !!

    Lindsay says:

    YEAH for Ben. I work for FedEx in the UK and this makes me so proud.

    He looks so happy in his new home :)

    Thanks to Peta and FedEx, Ben is now properly looked after with a lovely new home and comfy bed.


    Betsy says:

    This is great! FedEx is an awesome company and stuff like this just proves it. It would’ve been so easy to pass this animal by, claim that helping him was too hard and/or too costly, or that everyone was just too busy. But FedEx didn’t, and I think it’s fantastic. Thanks, Ben (the human) Hunt for sharing the story!

    Gwendolyn B Elam says:

    This is story of hope for a bear who had none at one point. Thanks to the very same company I am employeed by this bear has a chance to survive and roam free as nature intended. This is one of the reasons I am proud to be a FedEx employee.

    Gwendolyn B Elam says:

    This is a story of rescue and hope, for a little bear who probably thought he had none. This story is exactly why I am proud to be an employee of FedEx. They prove over and over to give back and do things that are life changing.

    shannon harding says:

    I am proud that three of my kids are FedEx employees in Utah!! Well done, FedEx! That story is heartwarming.


    Susan says:

    Bear force one !!! Thank you for helping in saving Ben – no animal deserves to live in cage as his . Thank you

    james key says:

    Thanks Ben and thank you, too, Fred Smith. I know the help this poor bear received didn’t occur without your help. In a time when I turn on my TV and see images of politicians pictured with dead animals they killed, it is refreshing to know that men of power and influence like Mr. Smith, still can find time to show concern for those creatures of lesser gods.

    barbara says:

    Ben, You are an awesome individual and thank you for giving Ben a huge “new life”..and thank you for speaking up on Ben’s behalf as he could not.

    Diane says:

    A big ‘bear hug’ to Bear Force One & PETA! What a heartwarming story. All animal lovers (including myself) are greatful for your compassion, as well as all animal rescue groups. I am so proud to work for FedEx Express.

    Ben says:

    I have worked for FedEx for nearly 25 years. These stories never cease to make me feel pride in our company. Bravo Zulu to all involved.

    montserrat roche says:

    what a great experience!! you are so lucky to be part of this! when i saw the video i felt so sad and happy at the same time, i cant understand why some persons dont respect the animals, as you can see Ben was so sad when he was there! and when he came to his new “PERSONAL POOL” for the first time he was so happy!
    I think all the zoo like where Ben lived should be closed forever!! they shouldn’t exist never!!

    Congratulations!! this story make my day happy!!

    Lisa M McClure says:

    I’m proud to be part of the surface transportation team at FedEx Custom Critical, White Glove, who helped start Ben’s journey. Love the Bear Force One! ^_^

    Marlene says:

    I love to read stories like this.
    What a wonderful gesture FedEx has done for Ben. He now can live a better life with his new family!

    Nanette Smith says:

    I don`t have a great story,but I do enjoy reading FedEx`s heroic stories. I am a window with severe arthritis. So I don`t get out a lot. So my Pc. gets me through the day, and I love reading your heroic stories. Also I do get my packages through FedEx and always on time and in very good packaging. Hat`s off to FedEx. sincerly Nanette Smith from Charleston,West Virginia…

    Araceli Brandi says:

    Hello Ben

    I am very touch with this story.
    I love animals and admire people that expend some of their time help them.
    No too many people like them, in fact hurt them.

    Congratulations for this action. There should be more people like you in this world.


    Araceli Brandi

    Dave Lusk says:

    Being involved in these shipments are some of the most personally rewarding things I get to do.
    During Ben’s stop over in Memphis; we picked up fruit from the Hub cafeteria (Bananas, Apples, Grapes) for him to snack on while here. You could just pop the grapes through the door of his shipping crate and he’d snap them up like M&M’s.
    Wishing you a much happier life Ben.

    Carl Montgomery says:

    That’s one reason my company has shipped all my orders Fedex since we started our business.Good people.

    MayLyn says:

    Being a FedEx volunteer and helping people, animals and so much more has brought me joy as well as reading this wonderful success story that FedEx brought to this bear! I so admire all of you for what you do, and I’m pleased to say that FedEx volunteering as changed my life!

    Beverly says:

    Sometimes when you sit at corporate like I do each day, you really wander how much good you are doing for those in the field. Then you see these heartfelt stories and realize without you helping others in the field, these great stories couldnt happen.

    Amanda Hosler says:

    I have SOOO much respect for FedEx!!! This is such a great story, so happy for Ben!

    andrea says:

    Thanks wonderful! Thank you FedEx!!!

    Ben says:

    Huge thanks to my teammates here at FedEx for making this possible. I was just one person, as part of a greater team that helped along the way in getting Ben to his new home in CA. Thanks to my friends in different OpCo’s, Corporate Contributions, Global Operations Center, Live Animals Desk, and everyone else who had a hand!!

    Cat Addari says:

    Thank YOU! xo

    Debbie Ralph-Garner says:

    i am so happy deep in my heart for this good GOOD deed. bless ALL who participated.. really. BLESS you for it’s souls like that and the willingness to do the work to MAKE it happen that really makes “human” shine.

    Carol Gough says:

    Thanks FedEx. You renew my faith in our species. ♥

    Carol Gough says:

    Thanks FedEx. You renew my faith in our species.

    Karen Saucedo says:

    Thank, you FedX, on behalf of Ben the Bear and all us humans who would wish him a better life but maybe not have the means to make it happen.

    I can’t imagine the otherworldly happiness Ben is experiencing in grass and dirt and trees and water.

    What a kind and wonderful thing you’ve done. I’ll certainly share this story with others.

    All the best to you.

    Craig Cooper says:

    Nice to see responsible corporate/community action at work.

    Pam says:

    Thank you, FedEx!!!

    Dee says:

    Thank you so much for providing transportation to Ben to his new home. When people work together they can truly make a difference for animals.

    suzypink says:

    Great news for Ben. Many thanks to the team at FedEx for making it all go smoothly! Let’s get some more animals freed!

    Carney Anne Chester says:

    There really aren’t words to express how much I appreciate everyone at FedEx who assisted with Ben’s (and my own!) comfortable and safe journey across country. From the Custom Critical team, to the groundscrew who made sure that noise was minimized during Ben’s loading and unloading, to the pilots and crew, to David Lusk and Ben Hunt and other members of the communications department who made sure that we had vegan food during our layover and on our flight to California, “thank you” will never been sufficient to express how grateful I am to each and every person at FedEx who made “Bear Force One” possible. Not only was each and every person at FedEx helpful, they all were enthusiastic about Ben’s rescue and left no detail unaccounted for. This is why PETA has given members of the FedEx team a special award for their assistance and generosity (http://www.peta.org/mediacenter/news-releases/FedEx–Bear-Force-One–Crew-Earns-PETA-Award-for-Flying-Roadside-Zoo-Bear-to-Sanctuary.aspx). Thank you FedEx! Your friend and forever fan, Carney Anne Chester, Esq., PETA Foundation

    jacqueline leech says:

    Yeeeaaa for FedEx, Fantasic!!!! Incredibly grateful to you for doing such a humane thing act for Ben. xo

    Patricia says:

    FedEx rocks!!!!! Always leading a helping hand!

    Gary says:

    An absolutely positively fantastic effort!
    Thanks PETA for all you do as well.

    Sharon Baines says:

    Thank you so much! I cry every time I watch how happy Ben is now!!!!!

    Michele Chartier says:

    Thank you FedEx for your kindness and generosity in flying Ben to freedom!!! You ROCK!!

    Pat Boone says:

    I’m saying “thank you” for Ben as he roams over real grass, enjoys getting into water everyday, smells wonderful new scents and has his tummy filled with nutritious food. How wonderful for him that he is now treated with value. Fed Ex you gave him a wonderful gift, all who treasure wildlife are grateful for your generosity.

    Ashish Rohilla says:

    Thank you FedEx for your kind support towards animals.Infact these are the acts that prove us human in this cruel world.
    I felt so good reading this rescue story and how FedEx agreed to help the innocent bear thrieve in his natural habitat, which he would have never imagined otherwise.
    Love your support. May god bless you all

    Lori says:

    This story and the pictures of Ben in his new home make me really proud of PETA and the team at FedEx. Great going, everyone! (*applauds*)

    kellyhorne says:

    We work for a great company. I am also in rescue. And I’m so happy to hear when we help another animal in need. Thanks for the great story Ben, and welcome to Fed Ex.

    kellyhorne says:

    We work for a great company. I am in rescue also, and applaud you for helping Ben and other animals in need.. Great story Ben, and welcome to Fed Ex!

    Amanda McRobie says:

    It’s great stories like these that make me absolutely love the company I work for and seeing the amazing things we do each day. So happy Ben has a new lease on life and can live out the rest of his years how he deserves. :) Amanda McRobie, FedEx Custom Critical.

    Robin Colbary-Gondek says:

    Be sure to watch the nat goe wild program on November 13th Tuesday..Bens’ story will be on..

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