Arturo has been been living in the Mendoza Zoo for over 20 years. Temperatures inside the enclosure can reach up to 104 F.
Pictures of Arturo have been circulating the Internet for the past couple of weeks. His pool is only 20 inches deep, and is kept cool by keepers throwing in large chunks of ice.
Arturo is said to have been exhibiting abnormal behavior since his long-time friend Pelusa died two years ago, including rocking back and forth and tilting his head.
Activists are protesting his living conditions, saying the enclosure is making him “depressed” and “crazy.”
Last year, 160,000 Arturo supporters organized an effort to ship him to an International Polar Bear Conservation at Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada. Arturo would have enjoyed a climate very similar to his natural one — however, Mendoza Zoo prevented Arturo’s move, insisting the aging bear wouldn’t survive the two-day trip.
A polar bear’s life expectancy in the wild is about 20 years on average, 30 years in captivity. Arturo is 29 years old already, and at 900 pounds it would not be an easy task to transport the bear so far north.
Arturo was born in the US in 1985, then moved to Mendoza in 1993.
Other advocates, including Cher, took to social media to support Arturo.