A prominent charity dedicated to animal welfare claims that a polar bear “died from a broken heart” after her companion of 2 decades was sent away from San Diego’s SeaWorld to the Pittsburgh Zoo. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) made the claim after a 21-year-old polar bear named Szenja who was born in captivity and lived at SeaWorld’s Arctic exhibit died. Szenha lived with her companion Snowflake for over twenty years and there was a deep bond between the two females.
Reason behind the death is clear
PETA says the reasons behind Szenja death are obvious. Peta spokesperson Tracy Remain said she died of a broken heart after SeaWorld sent her companion to breed more miserable polar bears. According to Ms Remain, Szenja did what anyone would do in her situation where there is no hope left, she simply gave up. Ms Remain added that Szenja’s death should server as a wake-up call to SeaWorld. The theme park should cease its breeding programme and stop shipping animals around. PETA called on SeaWorld to close its animal exhibits and retire the animals to sanctuaries.
Szenja’s death was a shock
It was reported that in the days following Snowflake’s transfer, Szenja lost her appetite, however her death came as a shock to staff at SeaWorld. Al Garver a spokesperson for SeaWorld said that Szenja had touched the hearts of the people that have been her care givers over the last two decades as well as the millions of visitors to the park who had the chance to see her in person. Mr Garver added the park was proud to have been part of her life and was pleased to know that Szenja inspired people all over the world to want to protect wild polar bears.
SeaWorld comes in for intense criticism
In the wild, polar bears have a life expectancy of about 18 years. Polar bears in captivity can live into their late twenties. SeaWorld has come under intense criticisms for its practices, and was most recently chastised for sending employees to pose as animal rights activists to spy on its critics.