Tongki is a captive born male polar bear who resides at Everland zoo, Yongin province, South Korea. This facility is owned by Samsung. We raised our concerns regarding care of Tongki with Mr Kim the zoo director in May of 2015. For a short time there was communication with Mr Kim before he stopped responding. From this communication we ascertained that Everland zoo intend to upgrade his exhibit in line with the 2003 Manitoba Polar Bear Act.
Despite this we have seen no evidence that Tongki's housing has been updated or that upgrades have begun. With many global institutions recognising that polar bear husbandry is changing dramatically and agreeing that the Manitoba Bear Act of 2003 needs to be updated itself as it does not meet the needs of polar bears. Therefore, many organisations are striving to make bear habitats as natural as possible mimicking these bears natural habitat.
We have several concerns regarding Tongki the first is that he has no access to fresh sources of drinking water, this is a violation of the Koran Animal Welfare Act 2008, All animals should have free "access to water and food at all times" We would like to know why Tongki has no fresh drinking water?
Currently Tongki consumes his pool water which will be contaminated with his own urine and defecation, left over food and possible items thrown into the pool by visitors. This is dangerous to Tongki's health and we would like to see this rectified with immediate effect.
Our second concern is the protruding scaffolding pipe within Tongki's exhibit, this is a hazard as it could cause Tongki injury it serves no purpose and should be immediately removed.
In summary, We feel that Everland zoo and Samsung are failing Tongki's welfare needs on every level: physically, psychologically, socially and behaviourally. As Tongki's carers it is Samsung's and Everland's responsibility to make his life as fulfilled as possible.
We are holding our second tweet storm for Tongki between 25th -28th March. Please join us and help us continue in our efforts to secure Tongki better conditions. Please all share and sign our petition below.
Ideally we would like to see Samsung and Everland carry out the following actions.
1. To immediately install fresh drinking water.
2. To converse with a polar bear expert in constructing Tongki a re-enforced chain link enclosure with natural tundra enhancing his welfare on ever level.
3. Should Samsung and Everland fail to do this and continue to demonstrate quite clearly they cannot even meet Tongki's basic care needs then. Saving the Angels of the seas will continue to push for Tongki's release to a facility that can care for him and offer him a loving, secure future.
On behalf of all the team at Saving the Angels of the seas. Thank you for your continued support to Tongki.