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Save Yupi: Polar Bear Suffering in Mexican Zoo

Save Yupi: Polar Bear Suffering in Mexican Zoo

Yupi is a polar bear who was brought to the Morelia Zoo in Mexico as an orphan after her mother was killed in Alaska. She was 3-months-old at the time. She’s now 18 and has spent her entire life there in a barren enclosure unfit for a polar bear, but her future doesn’t have to be so bleak.

Unbeknownst to her, animal advocates and a number of animal welfare organizations from around the world are campaigning to have Yupi moved to a facility that’s better equipped to meet her needs.

Yupi currently spends her days in a tropical climate that is overwhelmingly inappropriate for a polar bear, which is exacerbated by the fact that she’s trapped in a concrete enclosure that does not provide any enrichment, adequate shade or enough room to allow for normal polar bear behaviors and activity (watch video).

She shows the abnormal, repetitive, behavior of a bored and frustrated captive animal. Her fur has taken on greenish color, which can happen to polar bears kept warm climates due to algae growth in hollow guard hairs.

“Probably the most alarming aspect of management is the fact that Yupi is confined in her holding area (a dank, barren, concrete bunker) for the majority of each day, in conditions far worse than her main enclosure. According to staff, Yupi is locked in her off-exhibit area 16-17 hours each day. Presumably, this scheduling coincides with the arrival and departure of zoo staff each day. The holding area is small, dark, damp and barren. It has little natural light and no soft areas for resting. While Yupi’s main exhibit area is grossly substandard, the holding area where Yupi spends most of her time is much worse. Under no circumstances should Yupi be confined in this space for the majority of each day,” according to the Save Yupi Coalition.

Despite the controversy over keeping polar bears in captivity, and the belief that they are one of the worst candidates for captivity, the zoo wants to keep Yupi because that believe she is a valuable asset that’s popular with the public.

Yupi could still have quite a few good years left and doesn’t have to spend them in this hot concrete prison. A polar bear rehabilitation center in Ontario is willing to take her if the zoo will do what’s in her best interest and give her up.


Please join the campaign to save Yupi and sign the petition telling the Director of the Morellia Zoo, the Municipal Mayor and Governor of Michoacan, Mexico that keeping Yupi in her current conditions is unacceptable.

Related Posts:

Giving Polar Bears a Chance to Survive

Chill Out! It’s International Polar Bear Day

Time to Stop Canada’s Polar Bear Hunt

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Photo credit: Michael J. Linden

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12:59PM PDT on Jun 13, 2012

Whatever is popular with the public! Well, why not put some politicians in a cage to be goaked at and fed scraps from visitors? Wild animals aren't ours to to what we like with. If it's difficult to keep them safe in their natural habitats, sanctuaries and other places with plenty of space and protection will be the next best thing.

8:52PM PDT on Jun 9, 2012

Polar bears have always been my favorite animals. I hate seeing them locked in cages in zoos but if what the scientists say is true, that will be the only place we will see them within the next forty years. It's a crying shame to look at something that has been around almost forever and know it's facing extinction, mostly because of mankind and through no fault of it's own. They are the most magnificient, gorgeous animal to me and when the mama is wandering the wilds of the north with a couple of cubs, it just makes my heart sing. But now when I see photos of them, the first thing I think is "are you still alive or have you starved to death by now or been killed by some stupid ass trophy hunter".

8:12AM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

This is one of the most inhumane stories i've seen, in a while. It is absolutely irresponsible and selfish. I will be praying for Yupi everyday. Please get him out of this polar bear hell!

5:40PM PDT on Jun 6, 2012

MOve him....this is precisely the problem with costs too much money to keep animals properly and it's a very long term proposition ...sad

7:30PM PDT on May 1, 2012

Please move Yupi!

11:36PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

If a zoo can't keep an animal properly then they should find a better home for her...

4:04PM PDT on Apr 28, 2012


Your protest mail will have an even bigger impact, because every protest mail sent before the end of this month will be printed and hand-delivered on the 3rd of May! On this date Ericka will personally deliver an incredible 76.500 emails and signatures in support of Yupi to the director of Morelia Zoo. With less than 3.500 signatures and 4 days to go, supporters from all over the world are now trying to reach 80.000 signatures.

Join the effort to get 80.000 signatures before the 1st of May: send a protest mail today!

Your protest mail will be send to the new Mayor of Morelia, to the Governor of Michoacan State and to Ericka Ceballos. Ericka will print your email and will add them to the 76.500+ signatures to deliver them to the director of Morelia Zoo on the 3rd of May. Please note: you might get emails on behalf of CATCA afterwards!

Send our example letter to:


Example letter:

Dear representative,

After reading about her on, I am deeply concerned about the continued housing and display of Yupi the polar bear at the Parque Zoologico Benito Juarez (Morelia Zoo) in Mexico. I support moving her to a more appropriate naturalistic accomodation in a more appropriate climate as soon as possible and would like for you to team up with Zoocheck Canada for advice in this matter.

Polar bears are uniquely adap

2:58PM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

Inexcusable! She needs to be moved NOW! Please keep us updated on Yupi.

1:28PM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

I hope this helps, to save him.

12:49PM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

YUPI libero. Petizione già firmata e condivisa.

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