CHIANGMAI, 19 June 2011 – After the Chiangmai Zoo has decided to showcase a polar bear, many people and activists denounced the move, saying it would be tantamount to animal cruelty.
Under heavy criticisms on the move to exhibit polar bear, Chiangmai Zoo had held a public forum to listen to public opinion. Over 100 people from different organizations participated in the forum.
A representative from Lanna Bird and Nature Conservation Club said polar bear exhibition at the zoo was unacceptable. He explained that the sub-standard conditions at the zoo and the tropical climate in Thailand were not suitable for the animal. It is pointed out that that by nature, polar bear travels long distance to hunt; it cannot be locked up in a 135-square meter space.
The representative cited World Association of Zoos and Aquariums standard, which said minimum space for an animal showcase was 500 square meters.