Should polar bears be kept in captivity?


8th March 2023

A NEW report released on International Polar Bear Day (27 February) claims that polar bears should no longer be kept in captivity.

The report, by international wildlife charity Born Free, is calling for an urgent review into polar bears living in zoos and the physical and psychological impact that life in captivity has on this species. Born Free wants an end to polar bears living in captivity and the end of polar bear captive breeding programmes.

There are 151 polar bears living in zoos in Europe, including 12 in the UK. The report claims that there is just not enough space in captivity to keep polar bears happy and allow them to behave as they naturally would in the wild.

Wild polar bears spend most of their lives roaming a huge area of land, hundreds of thousands of kilometres in size, which is impossible to replicate in a zoo.

The location of zoos can also be a problem for the bears. Polar bears’ natural habitat is the frozen Arctic, so in warmer countries they’ve been found to suffer from heat stress because the temperature is too high for them.

Captive polar bears have also been found displaying behaviours that could be caused by stress, including pacing and neck twisting.

Will Travers, Born Free’s co-founder and executive president, said: “The message is simple. No more breeding, no more imports, phase out the suffering, and have the honesty and integrity to recognise what has been staring us in the face for decades: that polar bears cannot endure a life in zoos.”

What do you think?

Should polar bears be kept in captivity?


Leave a Reply

mangogirl1 · 12 months ago

Polar Bears don’t deserve to be stressed just because of what humans want. No they shouldn’t be kept captivity.

ministitch · 12 months ago

Humans aren’t kept in captivity, so why should polar bears be?

rose24638 · 12 months ago

It could damage polebears and damage them

dogcat11 · 12 months ago

Definitely not! How would you like it if you were forced to sit in a cage your whole life?!

duolingo · 12 months ago

I think keeping polar bears in captivity is wrong. Imagine if animals kept humans in a cage

lovelymrj · 12 months ago

These poor bears should be allowed to live in nature free the weather is much to hot for them.

nessness · 12 months ago

I think they should not keep polar bears in captivity because you should help their current habitat before making a new one.

potterwolf · 11 months ago

They should be free! If we were polar bears, we wouldn’t want to be trapped in a scary, small space which was a lot warmer than usual.

potterwolf · 11 months ago

They should be free! If we were polar bears, we wouldn’t want to be trapped in a scary, small space which was a lot warmer than usual. I think animals should be free, and not kept in small, scary zoos just to be looked at by millions of people.

lavu · 11 months ago

no, polar bears should be able to go out in the wild and enjoy themselves. how would you like it if you were in a cage all day?

0039.kapsc · 11 months ago

Polar bears are been harmed because human deeds have increased

puzzlepeas · 11 months ago

Polar Bears aren't in their natural environment! It stressful and unhealthy for them- They are living creatures too, like us!

izlacorgi · 11 months ago

Polar bears should be kept in wild and NOT IN CAPTIVITY! Because of us polar bears are not surviving as well and don't live in the temperature they are supposed to!

laxviji@gm · 11 months ago

If you lived in a cage with people staring at you 24/7 that was too warm for you, how would you feel? Definitely not.

bonniebill · 11 months ago

I think that they shouldn't be kept in captivity unless it is necessary for a special breeding program

ramblebook · 11 months ago

I totally disagree with keeping polar bears in a cages they need freedom just like us😤

splashy10 · 11 months ago

Polar bears need space - space to roam and be free - and there is none of that in a zoo. Unless things get really bad with the melting of the ice caps, we shouldn’t be keeping them in captivity #freepolarbears

sujanan · 11 months ago

It isn't right to keep animals in captivity when you can see how disturbed they are. We should be working to keep them happy.

aces10 · 11 months ago

Yes, polar bears need a lot of space and struggle in a different habitat, but so do so many other animals. It’s not just polar bears we should be thinking about that are trapped in small areas - all creatures deserve to roam free in their natural environment.

aces10 · 11 months ago

Why is it just polar bears that shouldn’t be put in cages?

maijun · 11 months ago

Polar bears are very fascinating to look at but they deserve to live in their habitat.

svarghese · 11 months ago

Captivity shortens lifespans.

elsamyd · 11 months ago

No, I do not think polar bears should be kept in captivity because they are such strong animals so could be a danger and because it is not fair on the polar bears!

mothstar · 10 months ago

I agree with mangogirl1

sing · 10 months ago

Polar bear are suppose to live in cold climate. Why are we bringing them here when it is far too hot? It really isn’t fair!!


sing · 10 months ago


mimi365 · 10 months ago

Yes and no. The only reason they should be kept in captivity is if they’re injured or have been born into captivity. Otherwise it is not right for polar bears to be cooped up all the time.

blackmamba · 10 months ago

If this poll was written in 2008 when Polar Bears had more prey to feed on my answer would be no , Polar Bears shouldn't be kept in captivity, but as humans have affected the climate and cause it to change ,my answer is yes . If we let out the Polar Bears they will have no food as their prey have died out so then they will die , we should let out the Polar Bears out when we have solved the climate crisis .

moose123 · 10 months ago

If you were kept in a cage all day how would you feel?