And yet on the other hand, here is an animal that is much better off being here at the NC Zoo.
Wilhelm, or as he is called now, Willy, was among six polar bears confiscated from a Mexico-based circus who abandoned them and their trainer in Puerto Rico in 2001. He spent most of his time in a seven by eight-foot cage. Rarely did he and the other bears have access to water to swim in. Their diet consisted mostly of apples, carrots, lettuce and bread.The temperatures soared to above 100 degrees and there was no air conditioning.
Willy and Masha (who died in 2007 from old age and complications from his life with the circus) came to North Carolina while other bears went to the Detroit Zoo and the Port Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington. Since Willy is more than twenty years old, it is doubtful that the zoo will try to introduce another polar bear into his enclosure.
You can't see it in this picture, but he was swimming around with an orange traffic cone in his paw. What a change from how he looked when he was with the Suarez Circus. I won't link to those pictures; too gruesome. But they are findable if you want to Google it.