Ricky Gervais joins fight to free bear named Little Ricki

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

HALLAM, PA -- Ricky Gervais has joined the fight to free a female bear that has been an attraction at a central Pennsylvania ice cream shop for nearly two decades.

The actor and creator of "The Office" encouraged Facebook followers to sign a petition seeking Little Ricki's release into a wildlife sanctuary. Gervais says having Ricki caged outside the shop near Hallam is heartbreaking.

Four local residents and the nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund sued last week for the animal's release. They say the enclosure, with a fenced-in concrete pad and large shed, is inadequate.

Shop owner James McDaniel Jr. tells the York Daily Record (http://bit.ly/1BlsIMx) that the outcry has pushed him toward letting Ricki go.

More than 80,000 people have signed the petition. Gervais' post has been liked and shared more than 20,000 times.