Animal rights activists are calling for a polar bear at an Argentina zoo to be moved to a zoo in Canada because the conditions in the South American country are torturous for the depressed animal.
Arturo the polar bear is reportedly the last one of its kind in Argentina, and petitioners say that since his companion died two years ago, he has started to become depressed. Experts say they are afraid that temperatures of up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months are dangerous for the arctic animal and are adding to the strange behaviors he has been exhibiting as of late.
Since Arturo’s condition was discovered, a petition was created online to convince the Mendoza Zoo in Argentina to move the ailing polar bear to the Assiniboine Zoo in Canada where it can be in conditions closer to its natural habitat. So far, the petition has over 40,000 signatures.
“We ask that you exercise your authority so the polar bear Arturo, who lives in deplorable conditions in the Mendoza Zoo, is moved to Assiniboine Park Zoo in Canada, where a natural habitat and a better life is awaiting him,” the petition to Argentinian government officials reads. ”We plead that intervene on this issue and ask the officials in Mendoza who have the polar bear Arturo prisoner to accept Arturo's transfer to the reserve so he can live in suitable conditions. In December 2012, a polar bear died in Buenos Aires due to heat, causing unease in Argentina and in the international community. After this death, refusal to transfer Arturo causes scandal in the world and Mendoza is becoming sadly famous for this, exporting an image of a retrograde province.”
Officials at the zoo in Argentina say they did an evaluation on the bear and found that due to his fragile health and age, - Arturo is 29 years old - the bear would not survive the journey up north.
“The evaluation they did was visual, without touching him, observing him from a distance,” Gabriel Flores of the Ecologists United movement argued, according to The Independent. “They only checked how he walks, how he eats, how he swims. It was a halfway fake evaluation that doesn’t convince us at all.”