‘World’s saddest animal?’ Arturo the polar bear lives in 104-degree zoo enclosure

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MENDOZA, Argentina (PIX11) — Hundreds of thousands of supporters are trying to raise money for Arturo, the polar bear that has been called the “world’s saddest animal.”

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 tries to stay cool in his 20-inch pool. (Youtube)

Arturo tries to stay cool in his 20-inch pool. (YouTube)

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.

Though their first attempt was foiled, activists are still keeping their hopes for Arturo alive through Facebook pages, and various petition sites.

Other advocates, including Cher, took to social media to support Arturo.


  • Michael Friedman

    Time for Arturo to be set free in the Arcric Ocean where he belongs.- His natural environmemnt.

  • jak3

    You cant just set free such an old animal thats been in captivity and fed most of its life into one of the harshest climates on earth, he would certainly die. He needs to live the rest of his life in a proper controlled habitat.

  • Cora

    the obviously cares more about money than the animals….boycott the slimy zoo and the country that lets them get away with this!!! why doesn’t the government step in and do something???

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