“Whether you’re eating, playing or sleeping, the polar bear will keep your company,” Harbin Polarland’s official WeChat account said in a post posted on March 11.
Photographs and videos from Chinese state media show people watching two polar bears in an artificial enclosure, with artificial ice and small pools of water.
Yang Liu, a spokesperson for Harbin Polarland, told Reuters that the indoor area is only a part of the bear’s total enclosure, and they are let out when temperatures and air quality allow.
He said that the interest in a stay at the hotel, where rooms were 1,888 to 2,288 yuan ($ 290.10 to $ 351.56) per night, was “too much”, noting that it had been fully booked through a trial period .
People take photographs of a polar bear inside an enclosure at a newly opened hotel in Harbin.
STR / AFP / Getty Images
Conservationists criticized the hotel.
Jason Poller, senior vice president of animal rights group PETA, told Reuters, “Polar bears are in the Arctic, not in zoos or glass boxes in the Aquarium – and certainly not in hotels.” “Polar bears are active for 18 hours a day, wandering home mountain ranges that can be thousands of miles apart, where they enjoy real life.”
In 2016, a shopping mall in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou attracted global condemnation after videos surfaced of a polar bear, pizza, on its side in a glass-walled enclosure.
Harbin Polarland, established in late 2005, calls itself the world’s first polar performing arts amusement park.