Map of Harbin Polarland (Harbin Polarland)
Location: Harbin Polarland
Address: 3 Taiyang Ave, Songbei Qu, Haerbin Shi, Heilongjiang Sheng 150028, China
Telephone: +86 400 870 0909
Website contact form or email link
Exhibit: Arctic Animals Home (aka North Pole Animal’s (sic) Home)
Bering (male). Born in Leningradsky Zoopark, Saint Petersburg, Russia 29 November 2002. Arrived 18 June 2004.
Malygin (male). Born in Leningradsky Zoopark, Saint Petersburg, Russia 29 November 2002. Arrived 18 June 2004.
Opened in 2006 the entire site covers around 16 hectares (40 acres) and is owned and operated by the Dalian Sun Asia Tourism Holding Co. Ltd. who also own and operate Sun Asia Ocean Polar World.
The two bears on display are siblings, two of triplets, the third being Sedov, now in Gelendzhik Safari Park, Russia.
Worryingly, the Ice Festival Harbin website says “You can see the most active polar bear brothers in China fighting furiously and breeding.” Since breeding, in their current “bachelor” circumstances, would be impossible it is to be hoped that “fighting” is equally untrue. This does however give some insight, were any in fact needed, into the raison d’être for these types of theme parks in China. It isn’t about education, environmental awareness, protecting endangered species or animal welfare; it’s all about spectacle and dumbed-down “entertainment”. In short, the animals here are being exploited.
Both bears have been observed pacing and circling repetitively, stereotypical behaviours symptomatic of psychological distress.
- Reports indicate that the enclosure is far too small
- It also seems hat the bears have no regular access to an off-exhibit area and are constantly on display and in each other’s company.
- Overall this facility is completely unsuited to the holding of captive polar bears.
- It does not appear that the bears have access to an outside area.
We have no information on the feeding, exercise, medical and enrichment regimes at Harbin Polarland.
The video below gives some idea of the cramped and artificial environment in which the bears at Harbin are forced to live. It was published on February 2013. Years later they are still there, still suffering and still displaying stereotypical behaviours, so called “zoochosis”. (Zoochosis is the term used to describe the stereotypical behaviour of animals in captivity. Stereotypic behaviour is defined as a repetitive, invariant behaviour pattern with no obvious goal or function.)