Ask Billionaire Not to Display Captive Polar Bears

Polar Bear (Sow And Cub), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Target: Norwegian billionaire Olav Thon

Goal: Call off plans to create a for-profit captive polar bear center

The very survival of the polar bear species has already been severely threatened by the effects of global warming on the Earth’s polar ice caps, where polar bears once freely roamed. Now Olav Thon, a Norwegian billionaire, is putting the safety and peaceful existence of those polar bears that remain in jeopardy by threatening to create a for-profit polar bear center that would significantly restrict their range of movement in comparison to the roaming space they enjoy in the wild.

Polar bears are the widest ranging terrestrial mammals, enjoying a roaming space of over 50,000 square kilometers in their natural habitat. These graceful and powerful creatures are known to fare poorly in captivity, in large part because any environment that is comfortable for humans to casually visit is guaranteed to be uncomfortable for an animal uniquely adapted to extreme temperatures that humans are unable to withstand.

Polar bears’ blubber-coated, heavily furred bodies are designed to regulate body heat in freezing temperatures, meaning that in warmer climates they are highly prone to overheating. Similarly, their feet are designed for pack ice. Each foot boasts a single, non-retractable claw that provides grip on slippery, porous surfaces. They are made for digging burrows and forming nests in frozen water. The concrete floors provided in the average captive polar bear “habitat” are conducive to neither their physical nor their behavioral traits.

These bears also like to swim—far more than one might imagine they do. In the United States, polar bears are actually classified as marine mammals due to the incredible amounts of time they spend in and around the water. For an animal able to swim continuously for over 60 miles at a time, at speeds of up to 6 mph, the small swimming areas “thoughtfully” provided in the average polar bear enclosure might as well be puddles.

Ensure that the Earth’s remaining polar bears are able to live, reproduce and thrive in relative comfort within their unimaginably vast natural habitat by signing the petition below.


Dear Olav Thon,

Due to the ravages of global warming, the majestic and powerful polar bear has been pushed to the brink of extinction. Whether you are endeavoring to build your polar bear center with the survival of these amazing creatures in mind, or are simply hoping to attract a large number of paying tourists, I implore you to consider the following.

Polar bears are the widest ranging mammals on the planet earth. Their natural habitat encompasses 50,000 square kilometers. Their uniquely adapted bodies give them the ability to swim 100 kilometers at a time, earning them the designation of aquatic mammals in the United States. In climates where humans are comfortable enough to visit without thick layers of protective clothing, polar bears swelter and suffer.

If you truly care for the wellbeing of other sentient creatures, please demonstrate it by allowing the last of the polar bears their well-deserved freedom.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Alan D. Wilson via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Brigitte St Jean Brigitte St Jean says:

    Since you are a billionnaire why don’t you use your money to pay the ones that torturized and kill innocent animals for fur or food and don’t keep the animals captive.

  2. It seems the more money people have, the less compassion and common sense they have. It is as if they feel they have to prove how rich they are by doing something that offends others. He should be ashamed of what he plans to do considering how close to extinction polar bears are today. The Norwegian government should also ensure it doesn’t happen.

  3. Cecily Colloby. says:

    Can’t you think of something better to do with your money, Olav Thon? Obviously not. What a shame you have all that money and no brain!!! Leave Polar bears where they belong and start donating some of your money to animal charities if you want to do some good.

  4. Sheila Jefferson says:

    I beg you, please let the polar bears
    have their freedom in their natural environment.
    Thank you.

  5. Stan Benton says:

    Although I did sign the petition, one must realize that we cannot expect any “natural habitat” to exist much longer for Polar Bears. About the only way to prevent them all from starving to death or swimming hundreds of miles then drowning, may be to take a few to artificial habitats, as this billionaire plans. If so, we should attempt to encourage that these places be as roomy, and as natural, as possible.

  6. Magdalena Radeva says:

    So much money makes people sinister!!!this man with money, not thinks with head !!!!

  7. Another self absorbed member of the 1%

  8. Lisa Scharin says:

    I agree, you would be a MUCH MORE respectable person if you used your money MORE wisely!!! I have always thought, If I had a lot of money, I would help save animals from the confinement, domination and exploitation of man! SAD that YOU have the money and intend to do just that with it!
    PLEASE contribute to an organization that is trying desperately to keep these and other magnificent animals in their OWN habitat, at PEACE and thriving as GOD intended them to do!!! YOU can make a BIG difference with a more positive outcome than I could even make with my small budget and donations! SO many people are working SO hard to save these animals and again-KEEP them where they belong-IN THE WILD!!! Help them-you’ll be a better man for it!!

  9. Let’s do some research and let’s use our money wisely —

    let’s help these magnificent, beautiful animals live happy and comfortable lives…

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