It has been scientifically proven that over 95% of polar bears kept in zoos suffer from behavioural disorder, and yet still many zoos still keep these animals in too small and inadequate enclosures.
This includes Sea World on the Gold Coast, Australia, who have Polar Bear Shores and is home to Mischka, Hudson and Nelson – the only Polar Bears in Australia. Polar Bear Shores supposedly replicates the Arctic summer, however the enclosure is open and exposed to the harsh elements of Australia's warm subtropical climate. Liya, a 19 year old mother polar bear, died during a heatwave in late 2019 and in 2017 one of her newborn cubs also passed away. Unfortunately, deaths of polar bears at Sea World is not uncommon.
In natural settings, the wild polar bear walks very long distances while hunting, which they cannot do in the small concrete prison that is called Polar Bear Shores. Furthermore, the high differences in temperature compared to a polar bears home, the Arctic, contribute greatly to their suffering.
Another problem is that most enclosures are made of concrete. These enclosures also provide no hiding places, just so that the visitors can have a better look at the bears, increasing their stress even more.
Sea World prides themselves as being educational:
“You’ll be guided by a Sea World Education Officer who will lead you on an exciting journey of discovery as you learn about the Polar Bears’ amazing abilities and the relationship between the preservation of the world’s environment and the survival of its precious inhabitants”
But as Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) say, keeping polar bears in captivity is only about money.
“What can people learn about the natural habitat of polar bears in zoos? Absolutely nothing,” Peter Hoeffken from PETA Germany.
Even Sea World’s own Facebook page hosts comments from supporters that are damning the existence of Polar Bear Shores.
Keeping polar bears in captivity should be forbidden and the breeding should be stopped, because no zoo, including Sea World Polar Bear Shores, can provide the Arctic climate and the big districts the polar bear needs to live a normal life without behavioural disorders and immense suffering.
Please take action and help these amazing arctic animals. Boycott Sea World, write to Sea World outlining the cruelty of polar bear captivity, write to your local member calling for the ban on captivity of Polar Bears.
International Polar Bear Day
International Polar Bear Day (27.02) aims to raise awareness about the threats and challenges facing polar bears – global warming and the loss of sea ice – direct consequences of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities. For more information, go to http://polarbearsinternational.org/