The 46-year-old actor and animal rights activist voiced a young boy called Kenai, who is turned into a bear after killing one, in the 2003 animated Disney movie, and now he is pleading with The Bearadise Ranch to stop using Bruno and Bambi - the inspiration for the characters Koda and Kenai in the film, for entertainment - and send them to "an accredited sanctuary."
In a letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, in which Phoenix shares the plight of the caged animals, the actor writes, "These bears deserve better than a life on the road, where they are robbed of everything that's natural and important to them, and if you put yourself in their place, I'm sure you'd see that, too."
"You know firsthand that bears are curious, complex animals who love to climb, dig, forage, and play. Their acute sense of smell and plate-sized paws evolved so that they could seek out mates and food across vast distances, but those carefully honed traits are wasted on the county fair circuit, where they're relegated to transport cages when they're not pulling hoops over their heads and carrying basketballs around in front of crowds of strangers."
In 2020, the "Her" star, who has been a vegan since the age of three and is a long-time supporter of animal rights group PETA, rescued a cow and a calf just days after his Oscars speech.
Joaquin, who won a Best Actor Academy Award for his twisted role in "Joker", visited a slaughterhouse and liberated the bovine pair he later named Liberty and Indigo.
During his Oscars speech, Joaquin, who also voiced his support for "plant-based" diets during his speech at the Golden Globes, referenced animal rights, telling the audience, "We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth we steal her baby even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable and then we take her milk that's intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal."