Target: Director of Mendoza Zoo Gustavo Pronotto
Goal: Rebuild polar bear enclosure to accommodate the creature’s needs
Arturo, also known as the “sad bear,” has been deemed by many animal lovers to be suffering from depression. The polar bear is near the end of his life, and many advocates want the bear to be moved to Canada so he can live the rest of his days in blissful temperatures, instead of the harsh heat in Argentina. The zoo director, and a panel of veterinarians, deemed the move to be far too risky, as the sedation could kill the polar bear. As a compromise, the zoo should be willing to make his enclosure bigger and cool it down to the approximate temperature for the bear to survive in relative comfort.
Over half a million people, including a former House Speaker, have fought for this animal to be removed from his enclosure and sent to Canada, so he can spend the rest of his life in the comfort of the cold. While this petition has garnered a lot of attention, the director has not budged on his position. Wild polar bears live an average span of fifteen years, and captive polar bears live up to thirty years old. Arturo is twenty-eight-years-old and he is nearing the end of his life. The zoo director and veterinarians are concerned that sedation and travel could kill this animal.
In Mendoza, temperatures can reach up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, an extremely dangerous temperature for animals that are meant to live in the cold. The high temperatures have been known to kill polar bears, as seen when the last polar bear in the Buenos Aires Zoo died recently from a heat wave. Arturo also only has access to a pool that is twenty inches deep, a size that even a small child could stand in. (The Canadian zoo that was going to accept Arturo has a pool that is sixty feet deep). It is in inhumane that this animal was able to live in this condition for his entire life. In his final days, the Mendoza Zoo should expand his enclosure and ensure that he has a pool deep enough for him to swim in, and keep the temperatures frigid.
Dear Director Gustavo Pronotto,
The last polar bear in your zoo, Arturo, has gained a lot of fame recently thanks to animal lovers. Many have noted the depression that polar bear has sunk into, and think that his enclosure and lack of company is what is making this bear suffer. Currently he only has access to a pool that is twenty inches, and an enclosure that isn’t air conditioned well enough to keep him comfortable. If your zoo tried to keep an animal in this condition in the United States, your zoo would be shut down immediately for being inhumane.
Since Arturo cannot be sent to Canada, I implore you to make changes to his enclosure. First, Arturo should have access to a deep pool, preferably one that is as deep as the one in the Canadian zoo that was willing to accept him. Secondly, Arturo’s enclosure should be as cold as his natural habitat to ensure that he lives in relative comfort. If he cannot be sent to be a better home that will look after his needs, he should at least have his current home be improved upon.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Alan Wilson via Wikimedia Commons