Entrance to Adventure World (Sanrakuso)

Facility

Location: Adventure World, Shirhama, Wakayama, Japan

Address: 2399 Katata, Shirahama, Nishimuro District, Wakayama 649-2201, Japan

Telephone: +81 570 06 4481

Email: No contact form or email details found.

Website: https://www.aws-s.com/en/

Exhibit: Polar bears are exhibited in the “Centre Dome and Sea Animals Museum”

Bears

Ohoto (female).  Born 22 November 1991 in Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland.  Transferred to Adventure World 9 April 1993.

Unknown (male).  Born 21 November 2013 in Adventure World (assuming that this is the son of Ohoto for whom these details are correct).

Details

Conditions in this facility do not seem to have changed since a very negative report was published in 2007 by the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRE).  Accordingly we summarise the report below.

Date of visit: 27 July 2006.

The facilties are entirely indoor and enclosed with no out side access provided to the bears.  The space available is far below that set out in the Manitoba Standard.  The enclosure is glass-fronted with air conditioning and artificial lighting.  The enclosure is circular and situated in the middle of a dome-shaped building. 

Visitors could look into the enclosure at ground level through three large adjacent windows and five small separate round windows which allowed very close viewing of the bears.   Visitors could also view the bears from a second floor level, through windows extending all the way around the
enclosure.

The enclosure is approximately 88 square metres (950 square feet) with dry land comprising just over a third of this. The remainder (56 square metres) consists of a pool; some parts being deep enough (at around four metres) for the bears to dive and swim, but the majority being taken up by an area of shallow water with artificial concrete replica ‘ice block’ structures at different levels under the water. This relatively unusable area took up just under half of the total area of the enclosure.

The bears can look out through the glass-fronted side, onto the indoor visitor viewing area.  There are high levels of noise from  visitors getting very close to the enclosure.  No private areas are provided for the bears to escape from the viewing public and there is no access to off exhibit areas during the facility’s opening hours.

There is hard, artificial flooring throughout with no soft substrates.  At the time of the visit by ACRE there were no objects for play and manipulation by the bears and recent photographs and videos published online suggest that this is still the case today.

Adventure World now (2019)advertises feeding times for the bears at 12.00 and 14.30 each day.  In 2006 the diet comprised meat and bread thrown by staff and visitors.

As in 2006, the bears engage in stereotypical behaviour with pacing and head shaking (see video below).  Recent photos and videos indicate that he bears are probably under weight with matted fur and bald patches on their heads.

Source: ACRE Japan Polar Bear Report (download here from our server) and additional research by Bear Conservation.

Concerns

  1. Use of bears for breeding purposes
  2. Very poor facilities with no outside access and only 44 square metres of space per bear and only 16 square metres of dry land per bear. This falls far short of the Manitoba Standard.  Bear Conservation recommends a minimum of 8,000 square metres (2 acres) per animal.
  3. No enrichment provided.
  4. Only hard flooring provided with no soft substrates.
  5. Pronounced stereotypical behaviour and poor condition of bears.

We do not at present have reliable information on the feeding, exercise and medical and enrichment regimes Adventure World.

More Information

The video below was posted online 28 April 2019 and clearly shows that this facility is entirely unsuitable for the captivity of polar bears.  Both bears are clearly displaying appalling levels of stereotypical behaviour.  We believe the bear in the foreground is the young male with his mother in the second area behind (but this is only a best guess).  Both bears appear to be in generally poor condition.  (Note: You may want to mute the highly inappropriate music which accompanies this footage.)

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