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The Book of Vegan

[Animal Rights] Chinese hotel with polar bear enclosure opens to outrage

Harbin hotel keeping threatened species in pen overlooked 
by bedrooms angers animal welfare groups

A Chinese hotel built around a central polar bear enclosure for the non-stop viewing pleasure of its guests has opened to immediate condemnation from conservationists.

At Harbin Polar Land in north-east China, the hotel bedrooms’ windows face onto the bears’ pen, with visitors told the animals are their “neighbours 24 hours a day”.

A video shows the bears – a threatened species – being photographed by crowds of guests under harsh warm lights, in a space consisting of fake rocks and icicles and a white painted floor.

Animal rights organisations reacted with outrage, urging customers to stay away from establishments profiting “from animals’ misery”.

“Polar bears belong in the Arctic, not in zoos or glass boxes in aquariums - and certainly not in hotels,” said Peta Asia’s vice-president, Jason Baker.

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