A Chinese hotel built around the central polar bear barn for the non-stop viewing pleasure of its guests has opened an immediate condemnation from conservationists.
In Harbin Polar Land in the northeast ChinaThe hotel’s bedroom windows face the bear barn, where visitors are told that the animals are “their neighbors 24 hours a day.”
Video showing bears – Threatened species – Photographed by crowds of guests under harsh warm lights, in a space made up of faux rocks, snowflakes and a whitewashed floor.
Animal rights organizations responded with anger, urging clients to steer clear of establishments that take advantage of “animal misery.”
“Polar bears are native to the Arctic, not in zoos or glass boxes in aquariums – and certainly not in hotels,” said Peta Asia Vice President Jason Baker.
In the wild, Polar bears usually roam areas that can extend for thousands of milesBaker added.
Harbin is famous for its Ice Sculpture Festival, and the hotel resembles a giant igloo, topped with artificial ice. But some social media users in China have expressed their dissatisfaction with the topic being carried so far.
“Panoramic Prison for Polar Bears … Didn’t we learn anything about animal cruelty?” One commenter said.
A spokesman for the Chinese Animal Protection Network, who requested anonymity, told AFP that “loopholes in the law on protecting wildlife in China allow companies to exploit animals without any concern for their welfare.”
Chinese authorities recently changed the law to ban the consumption of wild animals as food, after speculation about the origins of the Corona virus led investigators to the Wuhan market where live animals were for sale.
But the use of parts of endangered species in traditional medicine remains widespread, and Chinese circuses and zoos are often criticized for poor standards of animal housing and care.
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