‘Polar Bear Hotel’ in China Attracts Customers and Critics | Environment News
Environmentalists criticize the hotel for allowing guests to watch polar bears around the clock in all 21 rooms.
A hotel that bills itself as the world’s first ‘hotel for polar bears’ has opened in Heilongjiang Province, in the far northeast of China, attracting both guests and critics for its characteristic central: live polar bears.
The Polar Bear Hotel, part of the Harbin Polarland theme park in Heilongjiang’s capital and largest city, Harbin, opened on Friday with a promise to observe polar bears around the clock from all 21 rooms.
“Whether you eat, play or sleep, polar bears will keep you company,” Harbin Polarland’s official WeChat account said in a message dated Thursday.
Photos and videos from Chinese state media showed people watching two polar bears in an indoor enclosure with artificial ice and small pools of water.
Yang Liu, spokesperson for Harbin Polarland, told Reuters news agency that the indoor area is only part of the total enclosure for the bears and they are left outside when the temperature and the air quality allows it.
She said the interest in staying at the hotel, where rooms ranged from 1,888 to 2,288 yuan ($ 290.10 to $ 351.56) per night was “very high,” adding that it was full. during a trial period.
Environmentalists criticized the hotel.
“Polar bears belong to the Arctic, not to zoos or the glass boxes of aquariums – and certainly not to hotels,” Jason Baker, senior vice president of animal rights group PETA, told Reuters on Saturday.
“Polar bears are active for up to 18 hours a day in the wild, roaming home ranges that can stretch for thousands of miles, where they live real lives.”
In 2016, a shopping mall in the southern city of Guangzhou was sentenced around the world after videos of a polar bear, Pizza, lying on its side in a glass-walled enclosure were released.
Harbin Polarland, established at the end of 2005, bills itself as the world’s first polar performing arts theme park.