Save the bears! Or in this case, save one specific bear. His name is Arturo, and he is a 28-year-old polar bear that hundreds of thousands of Internet users believe is severely depressed.
Because Arturo is living in an Argentine zoo, many believe the excessive heat and poor living conditions are an inhumane way for the “world’s saddest bear” to live out his remaining years. While polar bears typically live 15 years in the wild, captive bears can live as many as 30.
A petition on the Change.org website read, “We plead that you intervene on this issue and ask the officials in Mendoza who have the polar bear Arturo prisoner to accept Arturo’s transfer to the reserve so he can live in suitable conditions.” It further states that Arturo’s companion died in 2012, adding to the depressive conditions of the bear’s enclosure. The petition already has over 600,000 signatures. Greenpeace has also started a petition and obtained an additional 200,000 signatures.
Polar bear experts have explained that Arturo can often be seen pacing back and forth, grimacing and bearing his teeth, as well as rocking his body back and forth. They argue these are all obvious signs of the bear’s depression. In addition, Arturo’s pool is only 20 inches deep while a proper enclosure would house a pool of at least 60 feet. Another complaint is that Arturo should have other polar bears to socialize with.
Zoo director Gustavo Pronotto is begging the Internet to try to understand the position the zoo is in. He has tried to reason that the 6,000-mile journey to relocate the bear to Canada would most likely result in the bear’s death. He doubts the bear would wake back up after going under anesthetics for such a long duration.
In an interview with The Daily Mail, Pronotto said, “We must avoid a big mistake, like his death during the trip or upon arrival. One must evaluate the risks carefully. He is old, and this would require many hours of anesthesia.”
Still, it has not stopped prominent political figures such as Newt Gingrich from voicing his displeasure. The former U.S. House Speaker stated, as reported by Yahoo News, “If you love animals the way I do, please sign the petition to help the Argentinian polar bear, Arturo. His current living situation is very sad, and he deserves to be saved.” The singer, Cher, has also made many tweets urging the bear’s relocation.
Author: Ben Feinstein
Photo: Via AP
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