What can arguably be called the world’s saddest polar bear is suffering while people take selfies with him at the Grandview Aquarium in a shopping mall in Guangzhou, China.
Recent video footage has shown the polar bear to be listless and miserable, just trying to survive while thousands of people gawk at him. Basically, the animal is there so that shoppers can take selfies with the incredibly sad bear in the background.
The bear lies on its side in the enclosure at the Grandview Aquarium, which also houses a second polar bear, six young belugas, five walrus calves, a wolf, and arctic foxes, all living in similar conditions, on view to the public in the shopping mall.
— シロクマ画像bot (@PolarBear_pic) July 2, 2016
The Inquisitr recently reported the story of Arturo, who was also dubbed the saddest polar bear in the world and recently passed away in miserable conditions in Argentina.
Thirty-year-old Arturo suffered through decades of the heat in Argentina before finally leaving this world. While hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition to have Arturo moved to a zoo in Canada where the temperatures would be cooler, zoo officials said he was too old and weak to be moved.
Now it turns out Arturo has competition for the role of the saddest polar bear.
— Animals1st (@Animals1st) July 10, 2016
Animals Asia has started a petition in an effort to close down Grandview Aquarium, which has attracted 153,578 signatures at the time of writing.
The petition reads, “Trapped in the middle of a shopping center in China – his white fur contrasting against the unnaturally blue display he is an unwilling part of – this sad polar bear has no escape.”
“Nowhere to hide from people taking photos – banging on the windows and shouting. Nothing natural, no attempt to create an environment that would meet the needs of any living bear – never mind this vast magnificent animal.”
As mentioned in the petition, the aquarium in the Grandview shopping center has been dubbed “the world’s saddest zoo.” Netizens in China have repeatedly attempted to shame the facility by asking the public to stay away. However, there are more than enough curious visitors to ensure the polar bear and other animals are constantly plagued by people knocking on their windows to gain attention for photographs.
Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director, Dave Neale, said, “Taking animals from their natural environments can never be defended, but when they’re rehomed in conditions like we’re seeing at the Grandview Aquarium it’s the worst possible situation.”
Neale went on to say that while aquarium officials might claim that having the animals there is educational, he said it is clear the actual motivation is bottom line profit.
“As long as businesses are allowed to use animals in this manner, wealth will always be put ahead of welfare,” he added.
Neale continued, “Polar bears require huge amounts of space. Large enough for them to walk, run, climb and hunt. The list of what they need is very long – to a point whereby you can only really answer that what a polar bear really ‘needs’ is to be free to live life in the wild.”
Explaining why the polar bear looks so incredibly said and listless, Neale said, “This bear has no peace and nothing natural to take comfort in.”
— Travel + Leisure (@TravelLeisure) July 20, 2016
According to a report by the International Business Times, there are only 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears left in the world. In 2015, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said the biggest threat to the remaining polar bears is climate change, particularly the melting of the ice in the regions in which they live.
The IUCN predicts that there will be a 30 percent drop in the polar bear population within the next 35 to 40 years if climate change continues as currently expected.
[Image via YouTube]