New Chi­nese home for ‘world’s sad­dest po­lar bear’

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

A po­lar bear dubbed the “world’s sad­dest” by an­i­mal rights ac­tivists has been re­moved from a Chi­nese shop­ping mall where cam­paign­ers said it was suf­fer­ing in un­suit­able con­di­tions. The Grand­view Mall in the south­ern city of Guangzhou held a farewell party for Pizza the bear at the week­end, it said on so­cial me­dia. A spokesman for the mall, which set up an “Ocean World” at­trac­tion with 500 species to try to draw in shop­pers said: “Pizza left the aquar­ium with es­corts af­ter the farewell party” on Sun­day. Chi­nese me­dia re­ports said he was re­turn­ing to the fa­cil­ity where he was born in captivity in the north­ern port of Tian­jin.

The mall claimed the move was a tem­po­rary one due to the fa­cil­ity be­ing ren­o­vated, and that Pizza would re­turn af­ter the works were com­pleted. But the US-based Hu­mane So­ci­ety In­ter­na­tional mounted a me­dia-friendly cam­paign to high­light the bear’s plight, coin­ing the de­scrip­tion the “world’s sad­dest po­lar bear” and gen­er­at­ing global head­lines. It distributed video show­ing Pizza pac­ing around his 40square-me­tre glass-fronted en­clo­sure and shak­ing his head as on­look­ers took pictures on their cell­phones. The footage showed the bear was in poor phys­i­cal and men­tal con­di­tion, it said.

Peter Li, China pol­icy ex­pert at HSI said in a state­ment: “Pizza the po­lar bear has en­dured a life of de­pri­va­tion and suf­fer­ing in his small, ar­ti­fi­cial glass-fronted room at the shop­ping mall. “At last he will feel the sun on his fur, sniff fresh air and see the sky above in the com­pany of his mum and dad.” The move was a re­sult of pub­lic pres­sure, he said, and sug­gested that if the bear was in poor health that could be an­other fac­tor. “We im­plore the Mall to make this a per­ma­nent move for Pizza and to not con­demn him to re­turn,” he added. Pictures of the bear’s farewell party posted on China’s Twit­ter-like Weibo by the mall showed chil­dren queu­ing up to say good­bye to the bear. “Tears and sad­ness are only tem­po­rary, we will make the cosiest home to await your re­turn,” it said. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.