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Arturo: The White Bear Who is The Black Eye of Argentina

March 5, 2015 by Leave a Comment

The News

Temperatures reach a scorching 104 degrees in Western Argentina, but that doesn’t stop the city of Mendoza from holding an arctic animal captive in its zoo. And that is only one of the reasons why Arturo the polar bear is going insane.

Polar bear Arturo is depressed and shows signs of insanity

Polar bear Arturo is depressed and shows signs of insanity

The Mendoza Zoo in Western Argentina

The Mendoza Zoo in Western Argentina

For over 20 years, Arturo, who is the only polar bear in Argentina, has been confined to a small concrete pit that deprives him of the ability to do anything that comes naturally to him, including swimming in the open water, traversing the sea ice and hunting for seals. Since Pelusa, his polar bear companion, died in 2012, he has had no contact with members of his own species. His only stimulation is a shallow pool that, according to visitors, is often empty.

Arturo sits in 20" deep pool

Arturo sits in 20″ deep pool

Arturo has been robbed of everything that makes life worth living, and he lets the zoo patrons who peer into his prison cell know it by displaying signs of depression, such as swaying, rocking and pacing.

For many years, activists have advocated to transfer Arturo to a Canadian zoo where the climate is more suitable to polar bears; where the enclosure if far superior and where he’d live with members of his own species. While captivity at Canada’s Assiniboine Park Zoo would be no substitute for freedom, it would be a major improvement for “the world’s saddest animal,” as he is often described.

Assiniboine Park Zoo's  polar bear exhibit - where Arturo should be

Assiniboine Park Zoo’s new polar bear exhibit opened in 2014 (photo: Mike Deal, Winnipeg Free Press)

In response to a 2014 petition with 400,000 signatures demanding the the Mendoza Zoo relocate him to Canada, the Zoo’s director stated that Arturo must stay on the grounds that the journey could kill him. But captivity is killing him right now, which is why activists believe the transfer to this facility in Canada is well worth the risk:

Like Nosey the elephant and Lolita the orca, Arturo has captured the attention of activists worldwide and has become a global symbol of the barbarity of animal captivity. But, with the Mendoza Zoo refusing to transfer him, Arturo’s advocates are working to determine the best approach to helping him.

For the moment, #FreeArturo  and #Storm4Arturo “tweet storms” are keeping his plight in the public consciousness. In 2014, both Cher and Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, tweeted on his behalf.

Cher Tweets for Arturo the Polar Bear

Cher tweets in support of relocating Arturo to Canada

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, tweets for Arturo

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, tweets for Arturo

Your Turn

To keep apprised and participate in the effort to relocate Arturo, please “like” Free ArturoSave Polar Bear Arturo and Proyecto Ecoparque Mendoza (local group in Mendoza) on Facebook.

If you have a Twitter account, please use the #Tweet4Arturo Facebook page as a resource to tweet on his behalf.

Sign the petition.

Share this article with others to raise awareness of the plight of Arturo and all animals held captive for entertainment and profit.

Filed under: Entertainment
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Every Nation is the Worst Offender

October 12, 2014 by Leave a Comment


In moments of frustration and anger, many of us demonize an entire country when we learn about the atrocities they commit against animals, but those feelings are misguided. Only a small percentage of people in any country participate in the abuse, and most are probably unaware. In addition, whatever country we happen to call home is probably committing abuses that are every bit as bad, so why point a finger?  Every nation is culpable:

The French insert tubes down the throats of ducks and force feed them:

Force-feeding of a goose to make foie gras

The Spanish set some bulls on fire and chase others through city streets:

photo: Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images

photo: Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images

The Chinese skin animals alive for fur:

skinned alive

Americans lasso young animals, wrestle them to the ground and twist their necks at rodeos:

Rodeo cruelty

Canadians club baby seals:

Canadian seal hunt

Africans tear the tusks out of elephants’ faces:

Photo: Mark Deeble & Victoria Stone

Photo: Mark Deeble & Victoria Stone

Australians hack flesh out of sheep to keep insects out of their wool:


Mexicans stab bulls to death to cheering crowds:


The Danish drive pilot whales into the shore and butcher them:

Denmark whaling

Photo: Sea Shepherd

The Japanese shoot harpoons with explosives into protected whales and serve animals at restaurants who are still alive:



This list goes on. Instead of vilifying entire countries, which does nothing to help their animals, we should target our anger – and energy – toward those who commit the atrocities and the authorities who have the power to stop them.

Filed under: Opinion
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Montreal SPCA Releases Horrific Fur Farm Video; Blames Government for Inaction

August 14, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

According to Montreal’s SPCA, which discovered horrific conditions during a fur farm inspection, the Quebec government is “not doing enough to protect dozens of foxes and hundreds of mink kept in inhumane conditions.” A wildlife veterinarian who accompanied the SPCA said, “Dehydration was evident in all 91 foxes. Emaciation or starvation was present in many of the animals. There were a variety of injuries from broken toes, to a broken leg, to a missing eye, lesions on the tails.” The Forest Ministry did seize 16 arctic foxes due to lack of paperwork and did euthanize four foxes and one mink because they were too sick to survive. However, they left the remaining animals in their cages “to give the owner a chance to correct the situation.”

Your Turn

Being held captive for life in a small wire cage is torture in and of itself. But to be deprived of food, water and medical care on top of that? If the Forest Ministry found dogs and cats in these conditions, the perpetrators would be undoubtedly be charged with animal cruelty. The laws must be strengthened to protect all animals, not just the companion animals who bring us pleasure. Fur is among the most egregious forms of animal cruelty. And for what? A coat? We must put ourselves in the skin of these animals and imagine stress, frustration, pain and suffering they endure every day of their lives leading up to that fateful moment when they are anally electrocuted, gassed or skinned alive. And we must be their voice.

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Activists Protest Annual Canadian Pig Wrestling Festival

August 5, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

Animal rights activists in Canada led by Humane Society International are protesting an annual pig wrestling festival that attracts 35,000 people and brings $4 million to the local economy.

News & Opinion

Do we really need to terrorize these innocent, intelligent pigs by chasing and wrestling them in a field of mud for sake of entertainment?   Thanks to the animal rights movement, the use of animals in entertainment will eventually be banned.  In the meantime, we must all continue to be a voice for these pigs, the killer whales held captive at Sea World, the bulls who are stabbed in bullfight arenas, the elephants beaten in submission at circuses and the horses forced to pull carriages in congested urban areas.  If you absolutely must harm an animal to amuse yourself, buy a fucking piñata. Learn more about animals exploited for entertainment and see how you can help.

Filed under: Entertainment
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