Nearly 300,000 people have signed a petition calling for the closing of an ocean theme park located in a Chinese shopping center and the release of Pizza, dubbed the “world’s saddest polar bear.”
Confined to appease visitors hungry for selfies, Pizza appears lethargic, slow and thinner than most polar bears. It’s easy to tell he’s desperate to get out.
The Grandview Aquarium, also called the “world’s saddest zoo,” opened in January and has since been flagged for being horrible to animals. Aside from Pizza, it houses arctic foxes, beluga whales, walrus calves and a wolf.
In defense, park deputy manager Li Chengtang told Guangzhou Daily, “The polar bear in the aquarium is very happy.”
Hong Kong-based charity Animals Asia, source of the petition, was invited to visit the aquarium back in April, The Guardian reported.
Dave Neale, the group’s animal welfare director, stressed:
“There is no excuse for any animal to be trapped this way but it’s widely believed that polar bears are one of the hardest of all animals to effectively provide for in captivity. Polar bears often exhibit ‘stereotypic’ behaviour as captivity restricts their natural instincts such as the need to forage.”
— Independent.ie (@Independent_ie) July 20, 2016
“Polar bears require huge amounts of space. Large enough for them to walk, run, climb and hunt. The list of what they need is very long – to a point whereby you can only really answer that what a polar bear really ‘needs’ is to be free to live life in the wild.”