Petition to bring 'sad' polar bear to Canada nears 200,000 signatures

Arturo, the only polar bear in Argentina, living in captivity at a zoo in Mendoza, 1050 km west of...

Arturo, the only polar bear in Argentina, living in captivity at a zoo in Mendoza, 1050 km west of Buenos Aires, is pictured at his enclosure on February 5, 2014. Specialists and activists are lobbying to transfer old Arturo to a zoo in Canada to spare him from the Argentine heat. AFP PHOTO / Andres LARROVERE

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:26 PM ET

Nearly 200,000 people have signed a Canadian woman's petition to get a polar bear dubbed "the world's saddest animal" moved from the scorching Argentina zoo, where he's been living for 20 years.

The petition, posted on change.org, calls on President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to help move Arturo to "a natural habitat and a better life" at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg.

Photos circulating the Internet show Arturo seemingly roasting on sun-baked rocks in his enclosure at Mendoza Zoo, where it's said temperatures can reach more than 38 C (100 F).

Activists have posted video showing the 29-year-old bear - who lives alone - pacing and showing other behaviours interpreted as depression.

Environment Canada classifies polar bears as a species "of special concern."

Assiniboine Park Zoo, which earlier this month opened its International Polar Bear Conservation Centre, has said in the past it would welcome Arturo but that the decision to move him rests with the Mendoza Zoo.


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Staff at the Copenhagen Zoo received death threats after a two year old giraffe was killed and fed to lion. If this isn't bad enough, the whole thing was done in front of a crowd of children, with a play-by-play to make sure they knew exactly what was going on. The zoo said they killed the giraffe to prevent inbreeding, despite other zoos offering to take the animal. (REUTERS/Keld Navntoft/Scanpix Denmark)


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