New Tragic Images Show "The Saddest Bear In The World" Slipping Into Madness

Andrea A.
27/10/2016

For several months, the living conditions of Pizza have angered animal lovers across the globe. The polar bear is a prisoner in a minuscule enclosure made of concrete withonly a small body of water inside of a shopping mall in China. Recently, a video was released that showed the mental health of the animal was in a sharp decline.

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Source: Humane Society International/Storyful News

A deep psychological distress

Filmed by the Humane Society International (HSI), the images show Pizza pacing inside of his tiny enclosure, shaking his head back and forth repeatedly. Enough stereotypical behaviors- repetitive and incoherent movements- that testify to a deep psychological distress.The bear is essentially in a private space sufficient to satisfy only his most basic of needs and is bothered everyday by hundreds of visitors who crowd around him to take photos between their shopping trips.In September, in response to theglobal outrage that this case elicited, the British zoo,Yorkshire Wildlife Park,offered the Grand View aquarium executives- the ones who are holding Pizza- to take in the polar bear themselves. Unfortunately, the offer was declined by the Chinese officials.[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yuRaNlx0bk[/embed]

50 animal protection groups fight for the closure of the aquarium

But the activistsare not discouraged. After the release of the new images, HSI initiated a vast movement that is gaining momentum with the animal defense organizations in China. Inan open letterpublished on October 25, the 50 signees call on Zhu Xiaodan, the governor of Guangzhou, the province where the mall is situated, and demand the closure of the aquarium.

Alastair Macmillan, the veterinarian working alongside HSI, declared in the newsletter of the organization:

This polar bear is showing classic stereotypical behavior, including head swaying and repetitive pacing, induced by frustration and poor welfare. This is the animal’s attempts to cope with stressful, aversive situations such as barren enclosures, boredom and constant disturbance by visitors. The conditions in which he is being kept are completely unsuitable, vastly removed from anything approaching his natural habitat, and if something is not done then he will likely slip further and further into mental decline.
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Source: Humane Society International/Storyful News

The animal defense groups have also asked for the liberation of the other prisoners of the aquarium including six young beluga whales, two arctic wolves, five walruses and one other bear.

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Source: Mail OnlineThe activists hope that these new revelations, accompanied a petition signed by more than a million people, will force the authorities to reconsider their decision and to release Pizza and the other captive animals. This surge of mobilisation aims to bring attention to the other thousands of other animals in distress who are also held captive in malls all across China.

The organization, Animals Asia, fighting for several months for the closure of Grand View, launched a petition which you can sign here.

Cover image: Animals Asia

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