Polar bear living in 104-degree zoo enclosure is the ‘world’s saddest animal’

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Mendoza, Argentina — Arturo, a polar bear living at a zoo in South America, has been called the “world’s saddest animal.”

The animal sits inside an enclosure at the Mendoza Zoo in Argentina, where temperatures reach up to 104 degrees.

Arturo is said to have been depressed since his long-term friend, Pelusa, died two years ago.

The animal reportedly exhibits abnormal behavior, including tilting his head and showing his teeth while pacing back and forth for several hours a day.

The animal has been at the zoo for two decades. Now, animal rights activists are fighting to get the bear moved to a zoo that can offer cooler conditions.

The zoo rejected an effort to move the animal to Winnipeg, Canada. The zoo did not believe the bear could survive the two-day trip.

“We must avoid a big mistake, like his death during the trip or upon arrival,” said Director Gustavo Pronotto. “One must evaluate the risks carefully. He is old, and this would require many hours of anesthesia.”

Zoo officials have said the animal is in “good condition,” saying the life expectancy of a polar bear is just over 20 years. However, polar bears in captivity can live up to 30 years. Arturo is 29 years old.

Greenpeace has gathered 160,000 signatures and online campaigns have been created to help fund a move. A Change.org campaign has racked up over 30,000 signatures.

Argentinian professor Fernanda Arentsen, who teaches at a university in Winnipeg, told the Winnipeg Free Press: “You can see he is going crazy. He moves the way polar bears do when they are suffering a lot of stress.”

The controversy surrounding Arturo resurfaced recently due to hot weather in Argentina and photos being shared on social media. A campaign created by a Reddit user has raised $2,490 for POLAR BEARS INTERNATIONAL.


  • NobodyAtAll

    That is beyond cruel..He is so far out of his element he’s going insane..A wading pool with a few thousand pounds of ice daily would be a big blessing for this poor animal..And bulk ice is pretty cheap.

    • anom

      Some one NEEDS to STEP in and RESCUE this POOR POLAR BEAR!!! Hope this exposure will help him get out of that HELL HOLE!!!!!

  • Sara Gifford

    where in hell is his pool to cool off? Every polar bear enclosure I ever saw had a LARGE pool for them, not an empty one. He needs one even more so now cause of the hot weather.

  • Karen Schell

    As a veterinary assistant and a rescuer of dogs and cats for over 37 yrs., I see stress in every movement of this poor bear. There has to be someone to step up asap to relieve this bear of his agony. This is cruelty, plain and simple. Please, someone with some pull, help this boy out. I would rather see him die on his way to a chance at a better life than spend two more days in this situation. He is going crazy, literally. Karen

  • Hczak

    I hope he makes it to Winnipeg!!! we just finished building a new polar bear exhibit he’d love it, so much water !

  • anom

    someone please step in and save this animal…or someone needs to step in and humanely enthusiasm him. but i doubt anyone at this zoo is that intelligent. poor thing hope he is rescue from this HELL HOLE! and whoever is responsible burns in HELL!

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