A lonely polar bear named Arturo is pacing nervously in his small cage in Argentina at the Mendoza Zoo and he looks to be depressed. His mate died of cancer in 2012 and the bear is lonely and sad, so sad that animal rights activists have made arrangements for Arturo to join a Canada zoo's polar bear community, according to News Max on July 23.
Unfortunately the Argentina zoo officials have declined that invitation saying that Arturo is just too old to relocate and the trip could harm him. Animal rights activists and other experts believe Arturo will be much better off being transported to Canada than pacing about his cage alone in Argentina.
According to the Christian Science Monitor today, Arturo is Argentina's last captive polar bear. The petition on Change.org is asking the Argentina zoo officials to please move Arturo so he can live out his last years in the company of other polar bears.
In the zoo at Winnipeg, Manitoba the polar bear will have plenty of room to roam and swim, as all polar bears like to do. While the Argentina zoo has a pool that they've just made bigger for the bear, the polar bear enclosure is small. The zoo in Canada has welcomed the idea of bringing Arturo to them. The petition on Change.org asks "Please allow Arturo to have a better life at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Canada."
The sad plight of this polar bear has even caught the attention of U.S. Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. He has rallied to Arturo's cause asking that folks please sign the online petition, which has over 500,000 signatures to date.
The petition is asking the Argentina officials to let Arturo move to the Canada zoo's polar bear community. There's a conflict of a prognosis when it comes to the health issues of the bear. It differs between the vets in Argentina and the vets that animal rights activists have contacted on Arturo's behalf.
Argentina vets say the polar bear will need to be sedated for a transport to Canada and they are afraid this will not be good for the bear's health at his age. Animal activists are saying that it is to Arturo's benefit to move him from the area where the summer heat can reach well into the 80s. This climate can easily kill a bear whose natural habitat is a sub-zero region.
The last polar bear left at a Buenos Aires Zoo died in the middle of a heatwave back in 2012, which is not a fate that anyone wants for Arturo. The Argentina zoo official, Gustavo Pronottos, said that "Arturo is close to his caretakers." Then he went on to say, "We just want everyone to stop bothering the bear."
Although a wild polar bear's life expectancy is 15-18 years, a polar bear in captivity can live to be around 30-years-old. With Arturo being 28-years-old, it is a shame that the Argentina zoo officials won't let the depressed polar bear live out his last years of life in a place where he won't be lonely. It is also a place with a more conducive climate and a place where he will have plenty of room to roam.