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A Zoo Where A Polar Bear Died Is Now Going To Be An Eco-Park

Photo: REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter

An Argentine zoo where a polar bear died due to excessive exposure to hot weather a few years ago was shut down Thursday.

The zoo came into disrepute on December 26, 2012, when a polar bear by the name of “Winner,” lost its life. Winner ran out of luck due to his Argentine handlers exposing him to “unusual temperature spikes” and his own “nervous temperament” while reacting to Christmas Eve fireworks according to the zoo.

Now Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta has forcibly appropriated the zoo, shut it down, and plans to convert it into an “eco-park.”

About 2,500 wild animals call the 44-acre zoo home. The wildlife of the zoo will be transferred to sanctuaries both in Argentina and abroad according to BBC News.

Rodríguez Larreta made his decision in part because, he said, “the animals need to live in their habitats, not surrounded by buildings.” According to the mayor, the purpose of the new eco-park which will be set up during the winter, is “to familiarize children, Buenos Aires residents, and the people that visit our city, with animals and ecology.”

The eco-park will continue to be the home of 50 animals that are either too old or too accustomed to life on the zoo grounds to be transferred elsewhere.

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