The “World’s Saddest Polar Bear” Lives In A Chinese Mall

Pizza, the 'world's saddest bear.' Animals Asia/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Pressure is mounting on an aquarium in China after more than 330,000 people signed a petition calling for its closure.

The Grandview Aquarium is located in a shopping mall in Guangzhou, South China. When the aquarium was opened in January this year, it was quick to make its way into the international media, for all the wrong reasons.

Alongside the zoo's six young belugas, five walrus calves, and Arctic wolves, the facility holds two polar bears. One of the polar bears, called Pizza, has been dubbed the “world’s saddest polar bear.” A report by Animal Asia showed images and video footage of the polar bear appearing lethargic and laying down in a small and unnaturally blue lit room while shoppers took photographs.

Following advice and guidance from Animal Asia, the aquarium have started a “programme of enrichment” along with providing the bears with piles of snow. Nevertheless, while the keepers at the aquarium were reportedly saddened by the world’s outrage, the zoo shows no sign of releasing the animals.

“The polar bear in the aquarium is very happy,” Li Chengtang, Grandview Aquarium’s deputy manager, told Chinese news outlet Guangzhou Daily.

Dave Neale, Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director, said in a statement in April: “Grandview are genuinely shocked by the international outrage at their aquarium and the awful facilities used to house animals. As is so often the case I believe that the cruelty is as much about a lack of knowledge as commercial pressures. It is unlikely that Grandview will close in the near future – although, as a result of the publicity, much of it is currently closed for redesign.”

You can find more information and sign the petition on the Animal Asia website.

One of the wolves at Grandview Aquarium. Image credit: Animals Asia/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Main image credit: Animals Asia/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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