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Polar bear protest at Pairi Daiza: 'These animals have no place in Belgium'

21:24 16/06/2019

Activists from 25 animal welfare groups protested outside Pairi Daiza animal park on Sunday against the planned arrival of polar bears.

The bears are expected by the end of this year, as part of a new exhibition called "Land of the Cold". They will have 5,000m² of outdoor space and two water basins of 450m² and 220m².

The animals are travelling to Belgium from an Australian zoo. "These animals have no place here in Belgium, the climate is not at all appropriate for them," one protestor told RTL.

Sophie Locatelli, from the association Le Rêve d'Aby, said: "A polar bear can travel more than 70km a day. I cannot believe it can do the same thing at Pairi Daiza."

Pairi Daiza management say the animals will be in good hands. "We have been studying a suitable environment for several years," said Pairi Daiza operations director Jean-Jacques Cloquet. "It will be 10 times better than the required standards.

"This is really a setting where they will find all the natural conditions they are used to."

He added: "We have a unique opportunity to explain to our visitors the threats that these creatures face."

There are an estimated 26,000 polar bears in the world. The species is classified as "vulnerable", with some experts forecasting a 30% population decline in the next 40 years.

Written by The Bulletin

Comments

Frank Lee

Belgium is home to a variety of immigrants from all over the world. The climate might be different here than in their homeland, but they get used to it. The bears might actually enjoy experiencing something different than a polar desert, and get accustomed to good beer and fries. I know I did.

Jun 17, 2019 15:52
Viviana Cortés

Frank Lee, how could you possibly compare polar bears with inmigrants, seriously!
Even if they were born in captivity, they did not have a choice or a say in the matter.
Most of us inmigrants and even refugees came here in the hopes of a better, safer life.
Neither Belgium nor Australia are polar bear natural environments.

Jun 17, 2019 18:24
Frank Lee

Viviana, my comment was written in jest. I don't actually think polar bears should drink beer or eat fries...

Jun 18, 2019 12:40