Frosty reception for China lodge with polar bears on exhibit

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Beijing (AFP)

A Chinese hotel built all over a central polar bear enclosure for the non-halt viewing enjoyment of its company opened Friday to rapid condemnation from conservationists.

At “Harbin Polar Land” in northeastern China, the hotel bedrooms’ windows facial area on to the bears’ pen, with site visitors explained to the animals are their “neighbours 24 hours a working day”.

A video exhibits the bears — a threatened species — photographed by crowds of guests under severe heat lights, in a area consisting of pretend rocks and icicles, and a white painted ground.

Animal rights organisations reacted with outrage, urging clients to continue to be absent from institutions profiting “from animals’ misery”.

“Polar bears belong in the Arctic, not in zoos or glass packing containers in aquariums – and undoubtedly not in accommodations,” stated PETA Asia’s Vice President Jason Baker.

In the wild, polar bears ordinarily roam territories that can span hundreds of miles, Baker additional.

Harbin is well known for its ice-carving festival, and the resort resembles a big igloo, with its roof topped by synthetic ice. But some Chinese social media users expressed unease at the concept getting taken to this severe.

“A panoramic prison for polar bears… haven’t we figured out nearly anything about animal cruelty?” 1 commentator claimed.

“Gaps in China’s wildlife security law permits corporations to exploit animals without having any worry for their welfare,” a spokesman for China Animal Defense Network, who declined to be named, explained to AFP.

Chinese authorities lately modified the legislation to ban the consumption of wildlife for foodstuff, just after speculation more than the origins of the coronavirus nudged investigators toward a Wuhan market place providing animals.

But the use of parts of endangered species in conventional medicine remains rampant, and Chinese circuses and zoos are generally criticised for weak standards in animal housing and treatment.