Meet Arturo the polar bear. He lives in South America at the Mendoza Zoo in Argentina and is known as the “worlds’ saddest animal.”
Why is Arturo so sad? A few reasons, actually. He spends his time all alone in a cement enclosure where temperatures sometimes reach 104 degrees. His only relief from the sweltering heat is a shallow 20-inch swimming pool, kept cool with blocks of ice. But perhaps the biggest reason for Arturo’s sadness was the loss of his friend, Pelusa, two years ago.
Since Pelusa died, 29-year-old Arturo has been suffering from loneliness and depression. Experts say that the poor polar bear shows signs of abnormal behavior, such as pacing back and forth while showing his teeth and tilting his head. He has also been seen rocking his body, as if to comfort himself.
Animal rights activists are calling for Arturo to be moved to a zoo with a cooler climate and better conditions.
Even celebrity singer Cher chimed in on Twitter with a message for Argentina’s president: “Don’t cry for him, Argentina? No tears of Mrs. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner for tortured polar bear Arturo. Your hands are stained with his blood when he dies.”
Mendoza Zoo already halted a move five months ago that would have transported the bear to the International Polar Bear Conservation Center at Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada. Mendoza Zoo officials were concerned that Arturo’s advanced age would prevent him from surviving the trip. The life expectancy for polar bears is about 20 years, with those in captivity surviving up to 30 years.
Hopefully things will change soon for Arturo, giving this sad polar bear something to smile about.
Photo: The Dodo