Saddest Polar Bear in the World

A polar bear at a mall in China.

Grace Kim, photojournalist

Horrific animal abuse has been frequently spotted throughout major news stations, but when can something be called abuse? And why would someone do such a terrible deed?  Abuse is anything that hurts someone mentally, physically, verbally or emotionally. Even leaving one’s dog alone for several hours is abuse. Whether it is to an animal or a human, abuse is wrong and should never be applied. According to Timothy Briagas (10), “they [animal abusers] don’t value animal lives as much as human lives.”  Many people all around the world own a pet, and throughout time, have become emotionally attached to their animals. Kyle Kvenvik (10) owns a black cat called Samson, who was “rescued from the street.” Yet there are people, unlike Kyle, that mistreat their loving animals.

In a shopping mall at Guangzhou, China, a story of the “saddest polar bear” sparked anger and frustration across the nation. In one video, the polar bear, whose name is Pizza, can be seen lying down in his aquarium while adults and children alike, take selfies or bang on the glass to get the animal’s attention. In another video, the polar bear is smelling the outside world through a tiny vent and scratching at the walls. Viewers quickly identified that the bear was showing symptoms of a sickness called Zoochosis. Zoochosis happens to animals that are in unhealthy captivity. In this case, the polar bear was in a very small aquarium, artificial lighting, and left alone by itself.  Unfortunately, Pizza is not the only one, there are at least 500 more species in this mall alone, that are confined to inhuman situations. Not to mention, other attractions in the rest of the world much like this one. This industry was using animals to attract more tourists and shoppers, which also happened to attract the attention of the internet, and furthermore, there are still even more attractions like this  that have not come into the light.

Abuse can also be found outside of massive industries, such as one’s very own neighborhood. Leaving their pets for long periods of time creates anxiety and depression for the animal. Some major actions of torment are beating or mutilation of one’s pet. Though the animals might heal, they will have a permanent scar in their hearts. If one can’t  afford the time and money for their pet, then don’t get one at all. Responsibility is the most important factor on deciding whether to get a pet. But by adopting a pet and then leaving them on the streets is a form of abuse. Abuse is wrong; take responsibility and do the right thing.