Pizza the 'world's saddest' polar bear offered home at Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Published 19/09/2016 | 18:06
A polar bear dubbed the "world's saddest" because of its cramped living conditions in a Chinese shopping centre has been offered a new home at a UK wildlife park, an animal welfare charity has said.
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park, in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, has made an offer to remove Pizza the polar bear from the Grandview Aquarium, in Guangzhou, Animals Asia said.
Animals Asia, which seeks to end cruelty to animals in Asia, has collected more than half a million signatures in a campaign to close the aquarium.
It released footage of the animal earlier this year, which made headlines around the world and led to Pizza being described as the "world's saddest polar bear".
Dave Neale, Animals Asia's animal welfare director, said: "The good news now for Grandview is that they now have the chance to put their mistake right.
"Thanks to this incredible offer from Yorkshire Wildlife Park, there can be a happy ending and the negative publicity they have suffered can yet be turned into a positive news story.
"From talking to them I know they know that mistakes have been made in terms of their animal facilities and ongoing care.
"As an organisation that works with animal carers to provide the best possible environment for animals, we have to say that we would be delighted to see Pizza end up at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
"There he would not only enjoy incredible facilities, he would also be part of a community of bears."
The charity said the offer has been made on condition of Grandview agreeing not to replace Pizza with another animal and that no payment has been offered for the bear.
If the offer is accepted, the cost of transferring the polar bear will be raised and it will be up to both Yorkshire Wildlife Park and Grandview to arrange and secure the transfer in the shortest possible time.
If Pizza moves to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, he will live in a specially created habitat for polar bears with 10 acres and two lakes.