Argentina zoo worried about decaying health of polar bear

FILE - In this file video frame grab made available by Associated Press Television News, Mendoza Zoo Director Gustavo Pronotto looks in on Arturo, in the polar bear's concrete enclosure at the zoo in Mendoza, Argentina. The new director of the Mendoza zoo Mariana Caram said Monday, May 9, 2016, that she has concerns about the health of the country’s last captive polar bear. She said that the bear is losing his appetite and is showing signs of decay. (AP Photo/APTN, Pablo Astie, File)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The director of the Mendoza zoo in western Argentina says she has concerns about the health of the country’s last captive polar bear.

Zoo director Mariana Caram said Monday that the bear named Arturo is losing his appetite and is showing signs of decline.

Animal rights activists circulated a petition in 2014 that was signed by more than a half million people asking that Arturo be moved to Canada. Caram said then that the bear was too old to be safely relocated.

Activists say Arturo paces nervously in his concrete enclosure and suggest the animal suffers from depression. Arturo’s partner, a polar bear named Pelusa or Fuzz, died of cancer in 2012.

The last polar bear at the Buenos Aires zoo died in late December 2012 amid a heat wave.

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