It’s about time. That’s what we said when we found out Grandview Mall’s controversial aquarium is facing a boycott due to the “miserable conditions” the animals are living in.
As reported back in February, the Guangzhou mall has drawn a fair bit of criticism in regards to its Ocean World aquarium, which some have referred to as “one of the saddest zoos in the world.” Ocean World’s arctic exhibit is said to house 500 species – some of which are endangered.
The recent calls for a boycott come from both netizens and animal rights activists and were triggered by video footage that shows the facility’s lone polar bear living in deplorable conditions.
Numerous organizations have pointed out that the polar bear, as well as the arctic foxes and wolves in the zoo, have not only been removed from their natural environment but also live in tiny enclosures with little comfort or relief.
The enclosure size becomes particularly ridiculous when you consider that one Alaskan polar bear’s home range was discovered to be 45 times the size of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which covers an area of 2,114 square kilometers – a wee-bit bigger than the Ocean World prison cell their polar bear currently calls home.
Understandably, the bear has been pretty lethargic, with reporters from Hong Kong commenting the animal simply “lays on the floor all day.”
According to Apple Daily, Ocean World staff have an answer for that: the animal is simply enjoying its “winter sleep.” This is obviously a blatant lie, as polar bears are active year-round – unless, in the case of females, they are going to give birth.
An online petition, launched by Animals Asia, began circulating in March and calls for the release of the polar bear and closure of the arctic exhibit. At press time, almost 140,000 people had signed the petition.