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The World's Saddest Polar Bear Gets a Reprieve, Temporarily Removed From Chinese Mall

Nov 17, 2016 04:32 AM EST

Pizza has been named "the world's saddest polar bear" due to her dismal living conditions in a shopping mall in southern China. The poor creature has been granted a temporary reprieve with a move to a zoo, and animal rights organizations are hoping the transfer will be made permanent.

According to a report from The Guardian, Pizza will be moved to a zoo in the northeastern city of Tianjin, which was where she was born. It's part of ongoing renovations to the mall, but the rest of the aquarium will still be open during the polar bear's absence.

"Pizza the polar bear will temporarily leave Guangzhou and return to her birthplace," Grandview Mall Aquarium announced on its official account on the social media platform WeChat, according to The Guardian.

Pizza garnered the concern of animal lovers worldwide after a video was posted online of her lying morosely on her side inside a small glass enclosure in Guangzhou. It's been reported that her behavioral patterns already indicate signs of mental decline.

"Pizza has endured a life of deprivation and suffering in his small, artificial glass-fronted room at the shopping mall, so the news that he's getting out at last makes me very happy and relieved for him," China Policy Expert at Humane Society International's Dr. Peter Li said in a report from Mirror. "At last he will feel the sun on his fur, sniff fresh air and see the sky above him in the company of his mum and dad."

Even with the polar bear temporarily safe out of the mall, the animal rights community remains concerned for her well-being, especially since Pizza is expected to be back in the mall after the current upgrades and changes are completed.

"No amount of renovation could ever make a shopping mall a suitable place for this animal, and to send him back now would be cruel and heartless," Li added. "We warned the mall that soon his decline would be so apparent that it would be difficult to have him on public display. Without a doubt, it has had to act due to tremendous pressure from Chinese and international campaigners."

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