Authorities in China have allowed Pizza—dubbed “The World’s Saddest Polar Bear”—to be released from a small enclosure at the Grandview Mall to Ocean Park, an animal amusement park in North China where Pizza was born and her parents still live. The action was prompted by video footage and photographs gathered by Humane Society International in September—where Pizza can be seen engaging in erratic mental behaviors in a small plastic cage with no ice or snow, and with only an air vent connecting the bear to the outdoors. Several animal-rights organizations collectively responded to urge Chinese officials to rehome the bear to a more suitable environment. Though the move is temporary and only being implemented while the enclosure is under renovation, Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle is pushing for a permanent solution. “We applaud the authorities at Grandview Mall for making the decision to release Pizza into what we hope will be a better living environment,” Pacelle says, “and you can be sure that we will be monitoring the situation closely.” Animals such as arctic foxes, beluga whales, and walruses continue to be trapped in other displays at the Grandview Mall, which uses the animals to draw in customers as a strategy for competing with online-shopping.
Photo courtesy of Maizi/VShine