‘Polar bear hotel’ in China receives criticism for animal cruelty from activists, reports say

A hotel in China with a polar bear viewing visible from its 21 rooms is facing criticism over animal cruelty. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

A hotel in China with a polar bear viewing visible from its 21 rooms is facing criticism over animal cruelty, according to reports. 

The news was first reported by Reuters on Saturday. The polar bear enclosure is part of Harbin Polarland theme park located in Heilongjiang, China, and the hotel was fully booked through its trial period.  

Animal welfare activists are criticizing the hotel, claiming polar bears belong in the Arctic and not in hotels, zoos or glass boxes in aquariums. 

“Polar bears are active for up to 18 hours a day in nature, roaming home ranges that can span thousands of miles, where they enjoy a real life,” the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia senior vice president Jason Baker told Reuters.

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According to The Guardian, a video shows the bears being photographed by crowds of guests under harsh warm lights, in a space consisting of fake rocks and icicles and a white painted floor.

Rooms range from $290.10 to $351.56 per night. 

Social media users are also criticizing the theme park’s latest vacancy option. Twitter user @BeckyParkes5 shared a video of an enclosed polar bear and was enraged with the hotel’s concept. 

Polar bear in a new hotel in China exhibiting stereotypies. When will humans learn that these animals are not for our entertainment and certainly shouldn’t be kept in a tiny enclosure in a hotel?! https://t.co/nAOXj1wfHn

A spokeswoman for Harbin Polarland, Yang Liu, told Reuters that the indoor area is only part of the bears’ total enclosure, and that they are let outdoors when temperature and air quality permit.

Follow Coral Murphy on Twitter @CoralMerfi

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