This Sad Polar Bear In Beijing Again Highlights The Paltry Condition Of China’s Zoos

Whether dealing with common pets or endangered species, many humans still don’t know how to be humane. But public reaction to conditions at the Beijing Zoo and an incident at South China Normal University in Guangdong indicate that at least awareness is growing among animal advocates and netizens in this country.

A video of the poor living conditions of a polar bear at the Beijing Zoo, posted by Sina Weibo user @临临Lynn, elicited a flood of comments yesterday. The video (above) shows a bear slowly making its way across a barren, drained swimming pool littered with sheets of cracked and peeling paint.

According to Hexun, zoo officials explained that the paint is a waterproof fiberglass coating, and that significant temperature changes during the winter cause it to crack and peel from the concrete below. The zoo said it will take remedial measures, but netizens are still critical, saying the zoo shouldn’t wait until it hears complaints to fix such issues.

Other instances of mistreatment at zoos include hurling snowballs at lionsstoning crocodiles, and biting an ostrich to death.

Sad polar bear at Beijing Zoo

In other news, this shocking story from last month: security guards at South China Normal University were spotted dragging a stray dog across campus and beating it to death.

When questioned, guards justified their brutality by saying they were acting on orders from school administrators. This misguided attempt to reduce the stray dog population was an apparent response to dog bitings, though it’s unclear how many attacks there were.

Reporters interviewed a dog rescue advocate in Guangzhou, who claims that “most stray dogs around the school were abandoned by students upon graduation,” and that the problem can be solved by “increasing oversight of dorms and forbidding students from keeping dogs.”

The advocate believes that any dog attacks were most likely the result of instigation. “[Strays] will instinctually protect themselves if attacked, and most strays that were originally raised by humans hope people will help them.”

Elliott blogs at Education News China and tweets @e2l2t.

    4 Responses to “This Sad Polar Bear In Beijing Again Highlights The Paltry Condition Of China’s Zoos”

      • terroir

        Yes. This view is what people like Han Han are seeing when they look out their window in the morning into the middle distance while holding a hot cup of joe.

    1. fdawei

      Ban all zoos !!!

      Animals must be in their natural habitat or suffer the fate of this unfortunate polar bear, as well as the fate of hundreds of other animals in zoos in China and elsewhere that were mistreated and died from either choking on a plastic bag, thrown at it by some “thinking” visitor, from a stone thrown at it by some idiot, by being given bad or rotten food, or from utter neglect, abnormal temperatures and acts of sheer violence.

      There is no respect for animals in this country, even at the zoos, otherwise, why would the bear’s enclosure be so tacky and in need of a clean up and a paint job.

      The zoo keepers should be punished.

      The prime issue is the staff doesn’t care and nothing is done until there is a groundswell of public opinion against them, which then pushes them to do what they should have done at the outset.

      SHAMEFUL !!!


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