A polar bear has ‘died from a broken heart’ in San Diego’s SeaWorld Wild Arctic exhibit, claims People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Szenja, 21, and Snowflake, 22 have been inseparable and living in the same enclosure for the past 20 years.
The two female polar bears were separated so that Snowflake could mate with male polar bears.
But after the separation, Szenja reportedly displayed all the symptoms of separation anxiety and depression.
She lost her appetite and energy and began exhibiting avoidance behavior.
Szenja died soon after.
PETA Vice President Tracy Remain said: ‘After losing her companion of 20 years when SeaWorld shipped Snowflake to the Pittsburgh Zoo in order to breed more miserable polar bears, Szenja did what anyone would do when they lose all hope, she gave up,’ reports the Los Angeles Blade.
In a statement, SeaWorld hit back at the accusations from PETA and told Gay Star News: ‘We will not be distracted by organizations with a clear anti-zoo agenda creating false narratives not grounded in any scientific fact.
‘Szenja lived an long and enriching life at SeaWorld with the passionate and uncompromising care provided to her by her loving trainers and made a positive impact on tens of millions of park guests that had the chance to see her over the past 20 years.
‘She did not demonstrate any adverse behavioural changes following Snowflake’s transport to the Pittsburgh Zoo in February as part of the Species Survival Plan breeding visit,’ SeaWorld said.
Blackfish: The SeaWorld controversy
SeaWorld is not free from controversy, with a documentary exposé revealing the shocking treatment of killer whales.
In 2013, the documentary revealed gross mistreatment of the whales in the Shamu Shows.
This led to a dramatic drop in attendance figures.
Californians voted to ban the breeding and training of orca whales in captivity, which will take effect in June.