News / Winnipeg

Argentinian polar bear can't come to Canada: Assiniboine Park Zoo

The Assiniboine Park Zoo says a polar bear living in an Argentinian zoo will likely have to stay there.

People have been protesting the treatment of Arturo, a polar bear living in the Mendoza Zoo. With temperatures drastically warmer than what a polar bear is used to, and a lack of quality facilities for the bear, say protesters, the bear is not doing well.

The Assiniboine Park Conservancy has been in talks with the zoo to get Arturo transferred to the new polar bear enclosure at the Assiniboine Park Zoo, but the APC said Wednesday it's unlikely to happen.

"It does not appear that a Canadian import permit can be issued for Arturo," the APC said in a statement. "As part of discussions between the two organizations, APC representatives forwarded CFIA’s (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) import permit requirements to officials at the Mendoza Zoo.

"These requirements include a critical need for specific medical records dating back a minimum of three years and Mendoza representatives have confirmed that they are unable to fulfill this requirement, thereby negating any possibility of a permit being issued."

APC's COO, Don Peterkin, said without the medical records, Canada's strict regulations simply can't be met.

Peterkin said the APC will be speaking with the South American zoo on Friday via Skype to help share ideas and they have offered to send a member of its veterinarian team to Argentina to help evaluate Arturo's environment and help recommend improvements.

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