Target: Argentina zoo Zoo Mendoza
Goal: Place Arturo the polar bear in better living conditions
At Zoo Mendoza in Argentina, Arturo the polar bear lives in a concrete enclosure with only a twenty foot deep pool to swim in. The temperatures in Argentina can soar to 104 degrees, much too hot for Arturo, an elderly polar bear, to be comfortable. A polar bear died in Argentina in 2012 due to the heat. Arturo is said to have been depressed since his companion, Pelusa, died two years ago. He is lethargic and his coat is shaggy. Researchers fear for his mental health.
Protesters want Arturo to be moved to Winnipeg, Canada’s Assiniboine Park Zoo, where the climate is more like Arturo’s natural habitat than Argentina. “You can see he is going crazy. He moves the way polar bears do when they are suffering a lot of stress,” Maria Fernanda Arentsen, a vocal protestor, said, per the Mirror. “He has been filmed rocking back and forth in a way that signals distress. It breaks my heart to see it. I’m from Mendoza. I know how hot summer is. There is no way for him to escape the heat. He looks so sad. He looks in pain.” Other vocal protestors include Cher and Newt Gingrich, who support Arturo being moved to Canada.
Officials at the Mendoza Zoo say that Arturo is too old and fragile to be taken to Canada, but some disagree. “The evaluation they did was visual, without touching him, observing him from a distance,” said Gabriel Flores, an environmental activist, per Agencia EFE. “They only checked how he walks, how he eats, and how he swims. It was a halfway fake evaluation that doesn’t convince us at all.” Many are crying out for Arturo to have a better life in Canada. Tell the Mendoza Zoo to place Arturo in better living conditions.
Dear Mendoza Zoo,
Arturo the polar bear was not made to survive in the hot Argentinian climate. He is an old bear and his habitat offers little respite from the punishing sun. Since he is not doing well in his current living conditions, please send Arturo to Canada’s Assiniboine Park Zoo where the climate is closer to his natural habitat.
Keeping Arturo in this climate simply because you say he is too fragile to move is not a reason to keep him in misery. A miserable life is not better than death. Please move Arturo to the habitat that will be best for him.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Alexisrael via Wikimedia Commons