Pizza is a polar bear undergoing an enormous struggle. Born in captivity in northern China, he was eventually transferred to China’s Grandview Mall. There, he was placed into horrific conditions and put on display for people to look, laugh, take pictures and use him purely for their enjoyment. Nothing about Pizza’s enclosure was healthy – he had no natural lighting, nothing resembling his natural habitat. He was in a concrete room with a large class window. He had nowhere to hide from the flashing lights and thousands of faces.
Fortunately for Pizza, several animal rights groups have stepped up to be his voice. Urgent cries from these groups and their supporters have provoked Grandview Mall to move Pizza back to his original home in northern China, where his parents are. They are renovating their zoo, which houses over 500 different animals – all suffering like Pizza – and claim that his move is only temporary. But this isn’t enough. Peter Li of Humane Society International told The Telegraph, “No amount of renovation could ever make a shopping mall a suitable place for this animal, and to send him back now would be cruel and heartless. We commend the mall for being gracious enough to listen to Chinese and global voices of concern, and hope they will do the right thing for this poor bear who has already been through enough.”
Over 1 million people around the globe signed the petition put out by Animals Asia that urged Grandview Mall to remove Pizza from their facility, and we hope that these same supporters will encourage the mall to close their zoo. After showing various symptoms of mental distress, Pizza has been dubbed the “World’s Saddest Polar Bear.” The title is painfully accurate. A shopping mall is no place for any animal of any species to be displayed. “But we implore the Mall to make this a permanent move for Pizza and to not condemn him to return,” says Li. “At last he will feel the sun on his fur, sniff fresh air and see the sky above him in the company of his mum and dad.” We can only hope that the Grandview Mall and authorities in China hear and understand our pleas for Pizza.