Video published 25 December 2014, a few months after Chimelong Ocean Kingdom opened, when all three bears were housed together.
Location: Chimelong Ocean Kingdom
Address: Fuxiangwan, Hengqin New Area, Zhuhai 519031, China
Telephone: +86 400 883 0083
Exhibit: Polar Horizon
We believe that there are three polar bears here but have no information at present on their gender, names, ages or history other than a description of one of the bears as being “very old”. A report in March 2018 from the China Cetacean Alliance suggests that only two bears remain; if this is the case we would assume the oldest bear has probably died.
Opened in 2014, when it was said to be the World’s largest aquarium, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom is located at Chimelong International Ocean Resort in Hengqin, Zhuhai. The site is currently undergoing a large expansion including the construction of the “Marine Science Park”, due to be completed in late 2019.
As well as polar bears there are two brown bears on display together with other land and marine mammals.
Acrylic windows separate the polar bears from the public. The exhibit is indoors and is air-conditioned with the bears having no access to any outdoor areas so far as we are aware.
One of the bears is now apparently kept separately from the other two. We believe this is the bear that reports indicate has adopted the behaviour of pacing the same 4 metres in each direction, repeatedly for most of each day, and has being doing so for several years now.
From the reports we have received, the photographs and footage that we have examined, we believe that this exhibit is very poor and should be closed.
- Bears have no access to outside areas or to natural light
- Animals display extreme stress-induced stereotypical behaviour
- Very little evidence of enrichment other than videos of a bear playing with a plastic float and a bear playing with a pile of snow (see below).
- Space available is far too small for one bear, let alone the three in situ
- The hot summer climate in this part of China is unsuitable for polar bears; so even were outside access to be provided this would not improve matters year round at all.
We have no information on the feeding, exercise, enrichment and medical regimes at Chimelong Ocean Kingdom.
The mobile phone footage below published 23 October 2018 only lasts ten seconds but clearly shows the stereotypical pacing behaviour which is symptomatic of acute psychological stress.
The above video is headed “Unbelievable Polar Bear Exhibit”. It certainly is, but not in the way they mean. The portrayal of the polar bear exhibit starts at around 48 seconds. We do not believe that the “cub ” at 3.37 is real.(Commentary not in English)
The above undated video is issued by the Ocean Park and shows one of the bears enjoying some (artificial?) snow. Whilst, and as expected, it displays a more positive image of the exhibit this is not borne out by visitor videos and reports.