Polar bear Arturo dies in Argentina 2 years after petition

Polar bear Arturo in his concrete enclosure at the zoo in Mendoza, Argentina. (AP Photo)
Polar bear Arturo in his concrete enclosure at the zoo in Mendoza, Argentina. (AP Photo)

Buenos Aires - Authorities say the last captive polar bear in Argentina has died at the Mendoza Zoo in the country's west.

A petition two years ago gathered more than a half-million signatures seeking to have the polar bear named Arturo moved to Canada.

The zoo director at the time said Arturo was too old to be safely moved. The bear was nearly 31 years old when it died on Sunday and had lived at the Mendoza zoo since age 8.

Mendoza officials said the bear died from complications of old age.

The environmental group Greenpeace called Arturo's case an example of the inappropriate conditions suffered by animals in Argentina's zoos.

The government in Buenos Aires city recently closed the municipal zoo to convert it into an ecological park for various animal species.

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