Many readers will remember the sad story of Arturo the polar bear, which I shared with you a week ago. He is forced to live in a concrete enclosure in Mendoza Zoo where temperatures can go up to 40C (104F).
We learned that Mendoza Zoo had blocked an appeal five months earlier to move Arturo to the much more suitable for his species Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada. A representative of the Argentine zoo told us that the decision aimed to “avoid a big mistake” and that anyway the bear was in “good condition”.
That decision provoked widespread condemnation, however we now learn that it has been upheld — Arturo will stay in Argentina, despite the fact that a petition to move him to Canada was signed by more than half a million people. Gustavo Pronotto, director of Mendoza Zoo is now telling us that, at 28 years of age, Arturo is too old to make the 6,000-mile journey. He added:
Arturo is close to his caretakers. We just want everyone to stop bothering the bear.
Bothering!? I doubt that such language will help Mr. Pronotto’s cause.
When they launched a petition to call for him to be moved, animal rights advocates dubbed Arturo “the world’s saddest animal” for reasons which will become apparent once you’ve seen the images below.
Both animal experts and visitors to the zoo too have reported seeing Arturo pacing nervously in his concrete enclosure, evidently struggling to cope with the high temperatures. To make matters even more unbearable, Arturo has been alone in his enclosure since his partner, Pelusa, died of cancer in 2012.
The petition for Arturo’s move to Canada had pleaded with Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, to weigh in on the matter, but so far she has ignored it. In the meantime, Arturo’s suffering continues… (Scroll down for the videos.)
1. Despite a high-profile campaign to move him, Arturo the polar bear is to remain in a zoo in Argentina.
2. Animal advocates have claimed the 28-year-old polar bear is showing signs of stress after his partner died two years ago.
3. Mendoza Zoo officials say the bear is too elderly to make the journey from Argentina to Canada.
4. Arturo is the only polar bear in Argentina and has shown signs of depression.
5. Campaigners wanted Arturo moved to Assiniboine Zoo, above, which has a large plunge pool and spacious enclosure for its bears.
6. Arturo is the only polar bear in Argentina, but if the zoo had allowed him to relocate he could have interacted with others at the Canadian zoo, above.
7. Arturo sits in a concrete enclosure at Mendoza Zoo in Argentina in temperatures of up to 104F and is said to have been depressed since his long-term friend Pelusa died two years ago.
8. Experts claim the 28-year-old’s lonely life is causing him to display ‘abnormal behavior’, including tilting his head and showing his teeth while pacing back and forth and rocking from side to side.
9. Animal rights activists now want Arturo – whose only access to cooling water in his enclosure is said to be a pool just 20in (50cm) deep — moved to another zoo that offers cooler conditions.
10. Mendoza Zoo blocked an effort five months ago to move Assiniboine Park Zoo in Canada.
11. At Mendoza Zoo, Arturo is served 33lb of meat per day, and all the fruit and vegetables he can eat. He also loves honey. And if his caretakers are late, Arturo growls to draw their attention.
12. Arturo has been at the zoo for two decades, and has had no contact with his own kind since Pelusa died. Now, campaigners are worried that he is suffering mental health issues.
13. Singer Cher tweeted her support for the campaign to help Arturo.
14. Greenpeace had gathered 160,000 signatures in a campaign to transfer Arturo urgently to Canada, which it said has weather that more closely resembles what occurs in his natural habitat.
And here are the videos:
Source: The Daily Mail.
Share Arturo’s plight with your friends below — perhaps President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will finally decide to act and alleviate his pain.