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Temperatures reach a scorching 104 degrees in Western Argentina, but that doesn’t stop the city of Mendoza from holding an arctic animal captive in its zoo. And that is only one of the reasons why Arturo the polar bear is going insane.
Polar bear Arturo is depressed and shows signs of insanity
Polar bear Arturo is depressed and shows signs of insanity
The Mendoza Zoo in Western Argentina
The Mendoza Zoo in Western Argentina
For over 20 years, Arturo, who is the only polar bear in Argentina, has been confined to a small concrete pit that deprives him of the ability to do anything that comes naturally to him, including swimming in the open water, traversing the sea ice and hunting for seals. Since Pelusa, his polar bear companion, died in 2012, he has had no contact with members of his own species. His only stimulation is a shallow pool that, according to visitors, is often empty.
Arturo sits in 20" deep pool
Arturo sits in 20″ deep pool
Arturo has been robbed of everything that makes life worth living, and he lets the zoo patrons who peer into his prison cell know it by displaying signs of depression, such as swaying, rocking and pacing.
For many years, activists have advocated to transfer Arturo to a Canadian zoo where the climate is more suitable to polar bears; where the enclosure if far superior and where he’d live with members of his own species. While captivity at Canada’s Assiniboine Park Zoo would be no substitute for freedom, it would be a major improvement for “the world’s saddest animal,” as he is often described.
Assiniboine Park Zoo's  polar bear exhibit - where Arturo should be
Assiniboine Park Zoo’s new polar bear exhibit opened in 2014 (photo: Mike Deal, Winnipeg Free Press)
In response to a 2014 petition with 400,000 signatures demanding the the Mendoza Zoo relocate him to Canada, the Zoo’s director stated that Arturo must stay on the grounds that the journey could kill him. But captivity is killing him right now, which is why activists believe the transfer to this facility in Canada is well worth the risk:
Like Nosey the elephant and Lolita the orca, Arturo has captured the attention of activists worldwide and has become a global symbol of the barbarity of animal captivity. But, with the Mendoza Zoo refusing to transfer him, Arturo’s advocates are working to determine the best approach to helping him.
For the moment, #FreeArturo  and #Storm4Arturo “tweet storms” are keeping his plight in the public consciousness. In 2014, both Cher and Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, tweeted on his behalf.
Cher Tweets for Arturo the Polar Bear
Cher tweets in support of relocating Arturo to Canada
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, tweets for Arturo
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, tweets for Arturo

Your Turn

To keep apprised and participate in the effort to relocate Arturo, please “like” Free ArturoSave Polar Bear Arturo and Proyecto Ecoparque Mendoza (local group in Mendoza) on Facebook.
If you have a Twitter account, please use the #Tweet4Arturo Facebook page as a resource to tweet on his behalf.
Sign the Change.org petition.
Share this article with others to raise awareness of the plight of Arturo and all animals held captive for entertainment and profit.

3 opmerkingen:

Sjoerd zei

Je wil zo'n beer toch niet in je dierentuin. Die hoort thuis in pool gebieden.

fluisterzachtblog zei

Wat erg om zo te zien. Die gun je toch zijn thuis, zijn oorsprong.

Salty Letters zei

Jullie hebben helemaal gelijk, Sjoerd en Fluisterzacht. Maar zolang dierentuinen, circussen en dolfinaria er zijn , blijft het aapjes kijken. In dit geval ...een heel treurige ijsbeer. Daarom is het zo belangrijk dat mensen het verhaal leren kennen achter de tralies... Dus vertel 't voort, vertel 't voort. Mijn dank is groot.