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Urgent Campaign to help Yupi the Polar Bear in Mexico!

Photo Credit: E. Ceballos (CATCA)

We have now a petition online for Yupi
Please sign and share it with others.


March 3, 2012

The zoo director first said that he would consider to let go Yupi if we could guarantee that she will survive for at least 5 years at her new home, which it is senseless and we can't guarantee nobody lives! Then he said he would not allow her to go abroad and that they were making renovations on her areas. Look at the video:

They even gave Yupi a toy for the cameras purpose!

March 30, 2012

Unfortunately we have some sad news: The Zoo director passed away of a bactery that he contracted at the zoo.

After a long discussion we all decided to stick to the original plan. On early May the petitions will be delivered to the temporary zoo director, the assistant of the former zoo director.


We have excellent news.

  • The Green Party of Mexico is now our voice for this campaign in Mexico.
  • Born Free UK just joined our efforts in this campaign.
  • Our other animal welfare colleagues in Europe and Canada, have also been active collecting signatures for our petitions to help Yupi.
  • Very soon we will know for sure to which facility Yupi can be transfer, but most probably it will be Europe.

The new deadline to send out the signatures you collected on the petitions AT THE LATEST is March 21st 2012. Please send them to the adresses in the UK or Canada provided here on the webpage.

Please print the petition to start to collect signatures with your colleagues, friends and family here:

If you are in the UK or Europe, please send your petitions by the end of February to this address:

Zoo Check team
Born Free Foundation
3 Grove House
Foundry Lane, Horsham
West Sussex RH13 5PL

If you are in Canada or the US:

Rob Laidlaw
Zoocheck Canada
788 1/2 O'Connor Drive
Toronto, ON M4B 2S6

For Mexico and Latin America:

Sr. Oscar Vélez Ruiz Gaitán
Coordinador de Ecología y Vida Silvestre, CEN,
Partido Verde Ecologista Mexicano
Cerrada Loma Bonita #18,
Colonia Lomas Altas Delegación Miguel Hidalgo, México D.F. C.P. 11950

For the rest of the world:

Scan the petitions with the signatures and send them to CATCA by e-mail: Cc (Very important, on the subject line please write: YUPI PETITIONS, so I will not miss them!)

or send them to us:

Ericka Ceballos
Campaigns Against the Cruelty to Animals P.O. Box 16021
617 Belmont Street
New Westminster BC V3M-6W6

Thank you for helping us to help Yupi!

I was monitoring Yupi the polar bear at the Morelia Zoo in Mexico on behalf of ZOOCHECK Canada in February-March 2009. Yupi suffers already of some stereotypical behavior problems, her fur is covered with green algae and she suffers terribly because of the heat in her barren concrete enclosure.

In the video you can see one of her several stereotypical behaviors. Other abnormal behaviors that she shows are to swim few meters by the window of her pool, stop and return to the point of origin, and few seconds she repeats the same action several times in a row. Also, she already displays several other types of stereotypic behavior, repeating her movements over and over when swimming or walking or laying down, which is caused by the stress, frustration and the empty artificial environment of the bear.

This video is Copyright E.Ceballos (CATCA)

Please check this website of ZOOCHECK Canada to get to know more facts about Yupi and Polar Bears:

Here is a petition for which you can collect signatures from your family, friends and colleagues.
Thank you!



Yupi is an 18-year old female polar bear. She lives alone at the Morelia Zoo in Michoacan, Mexico. Her days are routine and predictable, her enclosure is undersized and barren, and she has no relief from Mexico’s warm climate. This is her story.

Yupi was brought to the Morelia Zoo as a 3-month old cub because she was orphaned in Alaska, the most northern part of the United States. When Yupi arrived at the Morelia Zoo, she was placed in the old grizzly bear grotto. She has stayed in the same enclosure for the past 18 years, and not much has changed. Yupi’s cage is undersized and barren. It’s made of hard concrete, and does not have natural floors, like soil, sand, grass or mulch, for her to lie on or dig in.

The Morelia Zoo is located in Central Mexico, therefore Yupi is exposed to warm, tropical weather year-round. Polar bears are not adapted to handle warm temperatures like this – normally they would experience below freezing temperatures in their native habitat. Polar bears have evolved, physically and behaviourally, to live in extremely cold climates - their bodies have adapted to hunt across ice and snow, and swim in freezing waters. Polar bears do not cope well in warm climates and they can overheat quickly.

Yupi’s enclosure does not contain anything that would help cool her down in Morelia’s warm weather – there are no shade structures in her cage, and her swimming pool is not cooled to provide relief from the heat. Yupi is not provided with opportunities to escape the heat. This is no life for an animal that has adapted to live in cold, Arctic temperatures.

Yupi spends her days following a predictable routine – she is fed the same food, at the same time every day. For most of the day, Yupi is inactive and lies on the hard barren concrete floors of her enclosure. Sometimes, Yupi will go for a swim in her warm pool. Her only access to the outside world is through three small viewing windows on one side of her pool, where visitors can watch her swim. Yupi has been observed swimming in front of this window, back and forth.

The Morelia Zoo claims that Yupi is a valuable asset to their animal collection and that she is well-liked by the visiting public. But visitors are not provided with many viewing opportunities to see Yupi - the cement walls of her enclosure have been raised so visitors cannot look or throw things in, and the only viewing opportunity is through the underwater windows. Also, Yupi is the Morelia Zoo’s only Arctic animal, so she doesn’t fit in with the rest of the animal collection.

There is hope for Yupi – and you can help.

The Morelia Zoo has been approached about relocating Yupi to a more suitable facility in a colder climate where she would have room to roam, other polar bears for company, and colder, snowier conditions that are more like her natural habitat in the wild. There are facilities that have already offered to take her, if the Zoo will allow her a chance for a better life.

We are urging people, like you, to write letters to the Morelia Zoo, to your local Mayor, and to your local Governor, and let them know that you want to see Yupi moved to a more appropriate facility that will provide her with more room to play and exercise, a cold pool to swim in and more appropriate weather for this majestic Arctic animal. With your help, we can convince the Zoo that moving Yupi to a different facility will benefit both Yupi and the Zoo – they will be seen as an ethical facility, concerned about the welfare of their animals, and as a leader among other Mexican Zoos.

For more information about this important cause, please visit the website

Thank you for your kind attention.

Rob Laidlaw

You can help to keep us doing this high level personal and active lobbying!

Help Yupi

Ericka Ceballos is the proud Canadian Ambassador of World Animal Day. Click on the WAD logo above to check for the events that we will hold to celebrate the animals in Canada.

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PO Box 16021
617 Belmont Street
New Westminister
British Columbia
V3M 6W6
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