Pizza is a famous yet unhappy polar bear who spent months suffering in horrible conditions in a filthy aquarium at China’s Grandview Mall, trapped in a small enclosure with no sunlight, barely any space to move around, and nowhere to run from all the selfie-takers.
Being in captivity made Pizza develop zoochosis, as he wouldn’t stop walking in circles for long hours without stopping. Sometimes, he would hit the vents or just lie on the floor miserably.
All these signs of distress, frustration and mental decline made the public dub him “the world’s saddest polar bear”.
In September 2016, a British wildlife park offered him a new home, but the mall refused. A month later, he was moved to an undisclosed marine park in North China, where he was born, and where his parents were. However, this move was only temporary, according to the mall, as his enclosure was undergoing renovations, which meant that he could be to the appalling conditions he lived in at any moment.
Tremendous pressure was put on the Grandview mall, as a petition calling for Pizza to never go back to that awful place was signed by millions of people, and as the Humane Society of the United States created a fund to completely shut down the mall zoo once and for all.
Pizza’s fate is still unknown, but one thing is sure, he needs fresh air, enough room to walk, play and even swim, and no amount of renovations can ever provide him with that.
To send him back to the mall would be heartless, and we can only hope that the right authorities can intervene to help Pizza be happy again.