World’s Saddest Polar Bear Finally Gets A New Home!

Polar bear gets new home
James Graham


Nov 16, 2016

The polar bear dubbed the saddest in the world has been given a temporary reprieve from her Chinese shopping mall prison.

Pizza, who came to the world’s attention after pictures of her posing for selfies with shoppers emerged on the internet, has been moved to an ocean park in Tianjin, in China’s north, while upgrades and “minor alterations” are made to her glass cage.

“Pizza the polar bear will temporarily leave Guangzhou and return to her birthplace,” the Grandview Mall Aquarium said on its official account on WeChat, a popular mobile-based Chinese social media platform. It did not say when Pizza was expected to return.

Animal rights groups are now fighting to have the move made permanent. Dozens of Chinese animal welfare organisations wrote a letter to Governor Zhu Xiaodan of Guangzhou, China, to demand that Pizza be re-homed.

In the open letter, the animal groups urged the governor to take action to close the exhibits and find happier homes for all the animals. They also appealed to the nation’s industrial and commercial sectors to help stop this cruel trend of displaying animals at malls.

More than one million people have also signed petitions by the Humane Society International and other groups campaigning to close the Guangzhou mall, which also houses belugas and walruses, in the past few months.

Shopping mall zoo under protest

“No amount of renovation could ever make a shopping mall a suitable place for this animal,” Humane Society campaigner Peter Li said in a statement.

The glass-walled room that Pizza lived in has no natural air or light, and she often paces around dejectedly while shaking her head violently from side-to-side.

The Human Society International said the footage of Pizza’s pacing and head swaying was evidence of mental decline.

Peter Li added that returning Pizza to the mall would be “cruel and heartless”.

PETA declared the habitat overcrowded, artificial and sparse.

“The aquarium displays 500 species — including two polar bears, five walrus calves, six young belugas whales, and two Arctic wolves — in barren enclosures that are too small for them to engage in natural behaviour,” it wrote in a statement.


By James Graham


With over 20 years as a journalist and TV producer, James Graham has a wealth of experience covering the full media spectrum. James has a formidable reputation as a talented media veteran and worked as a reporter, script writer and as the producer of the TV documentary The Road To Athens. He has worked across newspapers, radio and the biggest flagship magazine brands in Australia and New Zealand. Previously, James was the News Director at Woman's Day and New Idea. Whether filing celebrity exclusives, or some of the biggest real-life splashes of recent years, James’ career has always been at the frontline of mainstream media. When not writing, you’ll find him at Royal Randwick, his beloved Long Reef Golf Club on the Northern Beaches – or visiting his mum in his native New Zealand.


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