Critics accuse mall of mistreating polar bear
A busy shopping mall in Guangzhou has been criticized for having a polar bear on display to attract visitors to the Guangdong provincial capital.
The 4-year-old female, which is being kept at the Grandview Plaza aquarium in a 40-squaremeter glass enclosure that has a small pool, has been described as the saddest bear in the world by some media reports.
Some residents have complained that the bear is being maltreated, as it is being displayed in such a small area.
ChenWenzhou, a white-collar worker in Guangzhou, said: “The bear should live in a world of ice and snow at the North Pole. How can she live in Guangzhou where the temperature has reached more than 36 C outside?
“She appears restless and anxious because she is living in such a small area and has to face a large number of visitors each day,” Chen said.
A 7-year-old girl, surnamed Huang, said she likes the bear, describing it as cute. “But I hope she can be happy,” Haung said after visiting the animal.
Li Chengtang, an executive from Grandview Aquarium, said the bear has become used to her environment.
Despite the high temperatures outside, the temperature in the aquarium is between 17 and 18 C, while the water temperature in the pool is about 8 C, Li said.
Li added that the bear had left her mother at the age of 2. The animal was examined and found to be healthy when it was taken to live in the mall’s aquarium.
In addition to routine monthly health checks, the aquarium ensures the bear has quality and suitable food every month. Li also said the aquarium has been authorized by government departments to care for the animal.
Sun Quanhui, a senior Chinese scientific consultant withWorld Animal Protection, said keeping a bear in such a busy shopping mall and it being viewed by large crowds would affect the animal’s psychological condition.
“The best way to protect such animals is to release them back into the wild,” Sun added.
Zhang Xiaohai, executive secretary-general of the Beijing Loving Animals Foundation, said, “We should not prevent animals from developing their natural instincts when we raise them.”
In addition to clean food and water, a suitable living environment is needed, Zhang added.
Located in Guangzhou’s Tianhe district, Grandview Plaza covers 57,000 square meters.
The polar bear at the Grandview Plaza aquarium in Guangzhou is the center of attention for visitors over the weekend.