Pizza, The ‘World’s Saddest Polar Bear,’ Is Getting A New Home
We're glad others are speaking up for Pizza's health and well-being.
Pizza, dubbed “the world’s saddest polar bear” by millions of animal lovers around the world, is getting a new home, at least temporarily.
The polar bear had been living in a cramped, air-conditioned exhibit at a mall in southern China, which animal rights activists said was not an appropriate home for a wild animal.
Videos of Pizza showed him pacing around his small glass enclosure, swaying his head and sniffing an air vent, his only access to the outside world, according to Animals Asia.
“This polar bear is showing classic stereotypical behavior, including head swaying and repetitive pacing, induced by frustration and poor welfare,” Alastair Macmillan, a veterinary adviser for Humane Society International, told Time.
Thousands of people signed petitions calling for the aquarium to be shut down and for Pizza—and other animals living in similar settings—to be released.
Pizza, a 3-year-old adult male bear who arrived at the mall in January, is being temporarily relocated while crews renovate the exhibit space inside the mall, according to the New York Times. It’s not clear where Pizza is moving in the meantime, though a social media post by the mall’s owners said he will “return to where he was born and to his daddy and mommy.”
The upgrade will double the size of Pizza’s living area.
It’s good news—for now. Activists calling for his release say they plan to keep up their cause.
“It’s a good decision, the right decision for Pizza, but it’s not the end,’’ Qin Xiaona, the director of the Capital Animal Welfare Association, said in a statement. “Temporary is not good enough. Now we hope that (the mall) will learn from this episode and move Pizza permanently so that he never again has to endure the dreadful life in a shopping mall.”
Activists believe that pressure from around the world helped spur the mall’s decision. But they also believe that the bear’s declining health may have made him too sick for public view.