A polar bear dubbed the ‘world’s saddest’ because of its harsh living conditions in a Chinese shopping centre has been offered a new home in the United Kingdom.
The polar bear, named Pizza, made worldwide headlines in July after it was claimed he ‘suffers for selfies’ at the Grandview shopping centre in the city of Guangzhou. A petition to free him gained more than half a million signatures.
Now, the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, has made an offer to move Pizza from the Grandview Aquarium to the park’s specially created habitat for polar bears, BBC reports.
Animals Asia, a charity that has been spearheading the campaign to close the Chinese aquarium, welcomed the offer from Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
The charity released footage of the animal earlier this year, which made global headlines and led to Pizza being described as the ‘world’s saddest polar bear’ who ‘suffered for selfies’.
Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale said:
The good news now for Grandview is that they now have the chance to put their mistake right.
Thanks to this incredible offer from Yorkshire Wildlife Park there can be a happy ending and the negative publicity they have suffered can yet be turned into a positive news story.
From talking to them I know they know that mistakes have been made in terms of their animal facilities and ongoing care.
The offer is being made on the basis of Grandview agreeing not to replace Pizza with another polar bear, Animals Asia added. They added that no payment has been offered for the bear himself, with the fear ‘any funds could be used to buy more animals’.
While this is extremely hopeful news for Pizza, it all rests on Grandview agreeing to let the polar bear go. Here’s to hoping the shopping centre releases Pizza – as well as the arctic foxes, wolf, beluga whales and walrus calves they house.