RIP Szenja, Snowflake misses you
A polar bear has ‘died from a broken heart’ in San Diego’s SeaWorld Wild Arctic exhibit, claims People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Szenja, 21, and Snowflake, 22 have been inseparable and living in the same enclosure for the past 20 years.
The two female polar bears were separated so that Snowflake could mate with male polar bears.
But after the separation, Szenja reportedly displayed all the symptoms of separation anxiety and depression.
She lost her appetite and energy and began exhibiting avoidance behavior.
Szenja died soon after.
PETA Vice President Tracy Remain said: ‘After losing her companion of 20 years when SeaWorld shipped Snowflake to the Pittsburgh Zoo in order to breed more miserable polar bears, Szenja did what anyone would do when they lose all hope, she gave up,’ reports the Los Angeles Blade.
In a statement, SeaWorld’s vice president of xoological operations, Al Garver said: ‘Szenja not only touched the hearts of those who have cared for her over the last two decades, but also the millions of guests who had a chance to see her in person.
‘We’re proud to have been a part of her life and to know that she inspired people from around the world to want to protect polar bears in the wild,’ he said.
Blackfish: The SeaWorld controversy
SeaWorld is not free from controversy, with a documentary exposé revealing the shocking treatment of killer whales.
In 2013, the documentary revealed gross mistreatment of the whales in the Shamu Shows.
This led to a dramatic drop in attendance figures.
Californians voted to ban the breeding and training of orca whales in captivity, which will take effect in June.