Arturo, “The World’s Saddest Polar Bear”, Has Just Passed Away


He was the only polar bear in Argentina.


Arturo was prisoner for more than 22 years at Mendosa Zoo in the west of the country, until his death on Sunday July 3 at the age of 31.


arturo-ours-polaire-mort-2Source : @AFP


He became famous for tragic reasons two years ago, when a petition condemning his living conditions gathered more than 1.2 million signatures.


The petition called for Arturo to be transferred to Canada so that he might have a happy retirement, away from the unsuitable climate of South America. In Argentina, temperatures often climb above 40°C.


arturo-ours-polaire-mort-1Source : @NewtGingrich


The management at the zoo refused, claiming a transfer would be too risky considering the animal's old age.


"The world's saddest polar bear"


Since the death of his female companion Pelusa in 2012, Arturo had been suffering from depression. Experts agreed that these were clear symptoms of his deep unhappiness.


For these reasons, when Arturo's story made it around the world, he was nicknamed "the world's saddest bear".


Source : @Andres Larrovere / AFP


The zoo says that Arturo passed away as his body failed him in his old age.


arturo-ours-polaire-mort-3Source : @Getty / AP


Moving tributes across the world


Since Sunday, moving tributes have poured in from across the world. Many different organisations have condemned the inhumane conditions that Arturo was forced to endure.


The Twitter hashtag #BoycottZoos slamming animal captivity is rapidly spreading across the web.



PeTa has paid tribute to Arturo, calling for people to boycott zoos:



Source : @Andres Larrovere / AFP


Mendosa Zoo soon to be converted


Mendosa Zoo, where Arturo was living, has been closed to the public since mid-June after 64 animals died from bacteria in just a few months.


Following this sad incident and multiple accusations relating to the wellbeing of animals in the past few years, the local authorities recently announced that the zoo will be turned into an ecopark, following the lead of Buenos Aires Zoo.


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