As of this writing, 333,497 people from all corners of the world have signed a petition to save Pizza also known as the “world’s saddest polar bear” from its entrapment in an “ocean theme park” inside Guangzhou, China-based Grandview shopping center.
The bear received his moniker after a short clip of the animal surfaced on the Internet showing it extremely lethargic and stressed because of the selfie seekers within the aquarium. Yet, the shopping center stirred controversy early this year when Chinese animal rights activists at Animals Asia called it a “horrifying” animal jail.
The park’s employees denied accusations of animal mistreatment saying that Pizza was “very happy.” But the Chinese activist group managed to visit the aquarium in April, and have a first hand-experience of the living conditions of several animals caged there.
The group said that the aquarium was “genuinely shocked’ by the scandal and sought recommendations on how to make animals’ lives more comfortable. Animals Asia denied rumors that the theme park would be closed and the animals freed. Tourists can now take selfies with walruses, arctic wolves and beluga whales at the center.
Nevertheless last week, the park pledged to ensure a “better life” for the beasts trapped there. Animals Asia’s head Dave Neale noted that this may mark another victory for the group which had managed so far to set free chained elephants at a Hanoi zoo, outlaw animal circuses and improve the life quality for caged tigers and bears.
The group believes that threats change little while sorting things out and finding solutions together can make a huge difference. Additionally, walking away from problems changes absolutely nothing, activists argued.
China’s economy may not run as smoothly as it used to, but its entertainment industry is thriving as growing numbers of middle-class members seek cheap ways to keep themselves entertained. There are nearly 40 ocean theme parks across the country, a recent report suggests. Furthermore, over a dozen more will open their gates to the public by 2018.
The Chinese, however, also think that Pizza is severely mistreated. Some Twitter users even called for a boycott of the park until the bear is set free. But Animals Asia said that the odds of closing down the park or freeing the caged polar bear are very slim at least in the short term.
Image Source: Flickr