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Polar bear 'depressed' in South American zoo

Polar Bear 'Depressed' In South American Zoo

This is Arturo. He lives at the Mendoza Zoo in Argentina and isn't doing well. His friend Pelusa reportedly died two years ago, and since then he's been on his own, braving the heat.



The temperatures can reach up to 104 degrees - which is obviously not an ideal climate for polar bears.

Arturo has been at the zoo for about 20 years and visitors say he's been exhibiting very unusual behavior like rocking and showing his teeth while pacing back and forth for hours. He's been dubbed the 'world's saddest animal.'

"He looks so sad, he really looks in pain and unhappy ... You can imagine a polar bear in a dessert with a swimming pool 50cm deep." "He's doing the same thing over and over and over and really it's an indication that he's going insane."

Last year, supporters urged the zoo to move the bear to Canada. Since then, support for Arturo has grown. Reddit users reached out for donations to help take action, and a petition on Change.org continues to push for his transfer.

Others have spread word about him on Twitter and YouTube, asking how long he will suffer before he gets help.

The zoo has not revealed any plans to move Arturo. The zoo's director says there's a chance the bear won't survive the two-day trip because of his age.

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twoblueyes70 July 14 2014 at 11:35 AM

The bear looks very old. Id say move him and if he doesnt survive the trip I think he is better off than going crazy. If he survives the trip then he may spend his remaining years a little more happier.

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4 replies
aaltexan July 14 2014 at 12:03 PM

PLEASE move "Arturo" the Polar bear to a cooler climate.Why the cruelty????
He is a creature of GOD as we are......DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!

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1 reply
Annette aaltexan July 14 2014 at 11:56 PM

please help him , how cruel to do this why dont we move the Argentiana to GERMANY Ja Whol

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gigi1105 July 14 2014 at 11:40 AM

and no other zoo in a colder climate in the whole world can take this poor bear!!! i think that the way a country cares for its animals is a clear indicator of how they care for their own people!!!!

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5 replies
gmcorbin958 July 14 2014 at 11:19 AM

Somebody needs to step up and save this fellow! Hell I will contribute! Lets do what needs to be done to get him out of there!

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1 reply
Kate gmcorbin958 July 14 2014 at 2:45 PM

We can all put pressure on Argentina to release him, certainly. But the zoo director does have a valid point, that he might not survive such a long and stressful trip.

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1 reply
Patty Kate July 14 2014 at 5:38 PM

It's six of one, half a dozen of the other at this point. I'd take my chances with moving him. He's living in misery, think of wearing a fur coat in 100 degree weather.

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janescriv July 14 2014 at 1:11 PM

Poor bear! Zoos should know that they need to provide appropriate habitat for their creatures - the polar bear should have some deep cold water to swim in, and a very cool room to retreat to - perhaps visible from a window inside for zoo goers. Obviously he is very depressed. He appears to be 'weaving' - that back and forth movement. Horses, bored in their stalls, sometime develop this habit. And, of course, we know that humans will also do it when depressed. If the bear is really unhealthy, maybe it does make sense to put him down humanely. As people have pointed out, moving him could be fatally traumatic. And people who think zoo animals can just be 'released to the wild' don't realize that it takes acute senses and a lot of knowledge for an animal to survive in the wild. Even wild polar bears are having difficulty surviving now. To release this bear to the wild would be worse than putting him down humanely. Zoos need to have good management plans for the whole lifetime.

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3 replies
leslie July 14 2014 at 2:03 PM

Not enough that his best bud died and he has to live in 104 degrees heat at the hands of a bunch of idiots! I think he's probably exhausted from celebrating the Germans beating the crap out of his captors yesterday!

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1 reply
frank.foreman leslie July 14 2014 at 10:51 PM

He may be readying his teeth to sink them into someone he really has it in for there at the zoo before he kicks the preverbial bucket.

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aristocat101 July 14 2014 at 11:32 AM

You horrible people let him go he needs cold weather.

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1 reply
Kate aristocat101 July 14 2014 at 2:35 PM

As someone else pointed out, he's been in that weather for 20 years, and is about as acclimated as it's possible for an animal to become. The more clear problem is mental: he's suffering from the lack of companionship, on TOP of an unsuitable climate.

The zoo director is probably right that he might not survive the trip to Canada. I'm inclined to think that Arturo would probably rather die than go through any more of his agony, but it is not possible to know what is truly going on in an animal's mind.

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1 reply
Merle Kate July 15 2014 at 4:20 AM

I think your right. Sad.

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Velocity105 July 14 2014 at 11:14 AM

Sounds like the Tilikum issues surrounding killer whales at Seaworld. An animal mistreated and kept in captivity that should be released back into it's native habitat or a more humane one in this case.

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2 replies
keithdelliott Velocity105 July 14 2014 at 12:54 PM

He's been living there for over 20 years. He would surely die quickly if released back to the wild. Many animals start to show signs of repetitive behavior in captivity. He is obviously mentally disturbed. The most humane thing to do would be euthanasia.

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1 reply
rcsyes keithdelliott July 14 2014 at 1:17 PM

The most human thing to do would be to protect the bear from the crap people who ruin everything they touch. Even a soccer celebration.

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Kate Velocity105 July 14 2014 at 2:32 PM

He can't go back into the wild-- he wouldn't survive a day. A more humane zoo, sure, would be ideal. If enough pressure is put on Argentina, from both within that nation and internationally, they may truly decide to take the risk to send him to Canada.

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FRANCINE July 14 2014 at 11:24 AM

Just one more instance of man's selfish and cruel behavior. This animal never belonged in that climate. I have no idea how to help this poor bear. I'm dealing right now with a cat that has lost his companion of 17 years .... and he too is very much in emotional distress. Love it love!

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2 replies
mclkarim FRANCINE July 14 2014 at 11:36 AM

Animals react to their losses. My son has two dogs. They can't stand to be separated. If he has to take one to the vet the other one goes nuts. I can't imagine what will happen when either one of them dies.

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zrsz1 FRANCINE July 14 2014 at 11:52 AM

I'm in the same boat with mclkarim,,,I have 2 jack russells, inseperable, one is about 5yrs older than the other,,,it's going to be brutal, I dread the day. we should have thought more about that. in the meantime,,send that poor old bear to canada

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rcsyes July 14 2014 at 1:15 PM

Remember this is Argentina and that country like all the other South American countries are scum. This bear is obviously suffering in that climate.

Suggestion: Send the bear along with all the other hispanics entering the USA Illegally and Obama will let him choose any zoo of his choice and get an entitlement package.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
5 replies
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