Daily Archives: July 26, 2014

We are Arturo; We are Jiyu

A video, “Zoo Mendoza, Un Ejemplo de por que no deben exister los Zoo,s” (Google translates as “Zoo Mendoza, An Example of a zoo that should not exist“), has been posted by Anon Vi Veri that reveals what appears to be the unsanitary dump being used to dispose of animals once they have ceased being useful to Zoo Mendoza.  The dump is literally littered with the on-surface remains of deceased animals – great ape, gazelle, birds, and others that are nearly beyond recognition – alongside other “refuse”, other useless and expired trash.  The text accompanying the video does not state the location of the dump.

Cher calls on Argentina's President to act on behalf of Arturo

Cher calls on Argentina’s President de Kirchner  to act on behalf of Arturo

Even though over 800,000 individuals from around the world have signed a petition, asking that Zoo Mendoza allow Arturo to be transferred to better conditions at the Assiniboine Zoo in Canada, Zoo Mendoza has refused the requests.  Cher, who needs no introduction, did not mince words, when in May she used Twitter to speak directly to Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

On July 12, The Mirror recounted the loneliness of his solitary life, after losing his companion Pelusa two years ago, and the “searing” desert heat, that claimed another polar bear named Winnie two years ago.  It also describes conditions that Arturo continues to endure, and ones that may have, ironically, resulted in the Zoo’s Medical Board’s determination that he is “unsafe” to make the journey to the more hospitable conditions at Assiniboine, despite the Zoo Director’s description of Arturo’s health as in “good condition.”

Arturo exhibits sterotypic behavior in the sweltering desert of Zoo Mendozo

Arturo exhibits stereotypic behavior in the sweltering desert of Zoo Mendozo

As reported by The Mirror and seen in its video, Arturo is reportedly exhibiting the rocking and pacing characteristic of “stereotypic” behavior among caged and other captive animals.

Arturo’s behavior is a sad reminder of the stereotypic behavior exhibited by Jiyu, the namesake of this blog, in the weeks in late 2010 as she refused to eat and became emaciated before she was believed to have been killed at Dolphin Base in Taiji, Japan.

Arturo endures the sweltering heat, even as the Association of Professional Attorneys for the Rights of Animals awaits a hearing on its appeal to free Arturo from being illegally deprived of his liberty at Zoo Mendoza, after a motion to hear its appeal was granted in March.  Advocates are being asked to reach out to the Court to request that Arturo be granted relief from the horrid conditions at Zoo Mendozo.

Video taken by a guest and reported by another news outlet reveals more of the deplorable conditions and the few meters of nearly opaque, shallow brown water that is all Arturo knows of swimming.  Krista Wright, the Executive Director of Polar Bears International, finds Arturo’s conditions to be “wrenching” when compared with those at zoos that “meet or exceed” the standard of care set by Association of Zoos and Aquariums, but notes that issues of borders “complicate” matters for Arturo.

The only border that is of consequence is the border around Arturo’s enclosure.  We are Arturo; we are Jiyu. And we will not cease calling for his release.

What you can do:

  • Sign and share the petition to Zoo Mendoza.
  • Sign a petition to President of Argentina.
  • Polar Bear Rescues has provided a sample letter, in both Spanish and English, to send to the Court, the Criminal Chamber of Mendoza, to call for a ruling that upholds Arturo’s right to live in a habitat that supports, not threatens, his life.
  • Be on the lookout for the next coordinated effort (aka “Tweetstorm”) using social media.  Sharon Kelly, Lorraine Hammond and Steve Jack have organized a event using the hashtag #Storm4Arturo, beginning on July 18 and is ongoing through November 1. In the meantime, keep using Facebook and Twitter to express your outrage and your demands for a better life for Arturo before it is too late to do anything for him.