A newly opened hotel in China built around a central polar bear enclosure for guests’ viewing pleasure is under fire from conservationists and animal rights activists.
Harbin Polar Land’s main draw is its bedroom windows facing a polar bear pen, so visitors can view the polar bears 24/7. The polar bears live under harsh lights in a small space consisting of fake rocks, two small pools, and a white painted floor.
The world's first polar bear hotel will open on Friday in Harbin, Heilongjiang province. Thirty-three sheets of reinforced glass have been installed in the hotel to allow visitors to have dinner with the bears while watching them nearby. #PolarBear pic.twitter.com/ug4QsBNAlz
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) March 10, 2021
Jason Baker, PETA Asia vice president, said, “PETA urges patrons to stay away from this hotel and any other establishment that profits from animals’ misery. Polar bears belong in the Arctic, not in zoos or glass boxes in aquariums — and certainly not in hotels. The greedy, exploitative aquarium industry, which is out of place in today’s increasingly aware world, is built on the suffering of intelligent, social beings who are denied everything that’s natural and important to them.”
Polar bears are listed as vulnerable under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List.
Harbin is known for its ice-carving festival and the hotel itself looks like a giant igloo, topped by artificial ice.