‘World’s saddest polar bear’ temporarily rescued from Chinese mall
Pizza the polar bear in the Grandview Aquarium, in Guangzhou, China. Photograph: VCG via Getty Images

‘World’s saddest polar bear’ temporarily rescued from Chinese mall

TIANJIN, China – Here’s a big win for animal rights activists and lovers of four-legged, furry friends: Pizza, the ‘world’s saddest polar bear’, has been removed from a shopping mall aquarium in China and moved to an undisclosed ocean park in North China where she has been reunited with her parents.

The three-year-old female bear has become the focus of global attention after a video was posted online by the Hong Kong-based Animal Asia group. In the video, Pizza was seen lying on her side in a glass enclosure in Guangzhou, looking sad and listless. Proving the power of social media, the global outcry has apparently prompted officials to take action and relocate the animal.

“Pizza the polar bear will temporarily leave Guangzhou and return to her birthplace,” the Grandview Mall Aquarium said on its account on the social media platform WeChat.

According to The Guardian, the move was part of ongoing upgrades and “minor alterations” to the mall. The aquarium will remain open during Pizza’s absence, but did not say when she is expected to return from her temporary stay at the ocean park.

Animal rights groups have called for the stay to be permanent, saying that conditions in the mall were unsuitable. .

In October, Humane Society International and three Chinese animal rights groups called for the mall to be close, saying Pizza’s pacing and head-swaying behavior were evidence of mental decline. In addition, more than a million people signed a petition calling for Pizza to be removed, reports The Telegraph.

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