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'World's saddest polar bear' offered home at UK zoo

Pizza was kept in a shopping centre where people posed for selfies with him. Credit: Animals Asia

The "world's saddest polar bear" is set to be saved by a UK zoo after public outcry at the poor living conditions he was enduring in China.

Pizza the polar bear is currently being kept at the Grandview shopping centre in the country's Guangzhuo city.

But animal rights campaigners claim the bear - which is the zoo's star attraction - does not have enough space to move around.

And now Yorkshire Wildlife Park, near Doncaster, could soon offer Pizza a new home.

Charity Animals Asia is in talks to bring Pizza to the park, which has a dedicated habitat for polar bears spanning 10 acres and two lakes.

Pictures emerged over summer of Pizza looking distressed in his enclosure.

And video footage showed passing shoppers banging on his window and taking flash photographs as they pose for selfies with him.

The images prompted more than 500,000 people to sign a petition calling for the closure of the aquarium at Grandview.

Polar bears Pixel and Victor share a hug at Yorkshire Wildlife Park Credit: Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale said: "The good news now for Grandview is that they now have the chance to put their mistake right.

"Thanks to this incredible offer from Yorkshire Wildlife Park there can be a happy ending, and the negative publicity they have suffered can yet be turned into a positive news story.

"From talking to them, I know they know that mistakes have been made in terms of their animal facilities and ongoing care.

"As an organisation that works with animal carers to provide the best possible environment for animals, we have to say that we would be delighted to see Pizza end up at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

"There he would not only enjoy incredible facilities, he would also be part of a community of bears."

Project Polar offers bears like Nobby and Nissan 10 acres to roam around Credit: Yorkshire Wildlife Park

The charity said the offer has been made on condition of Grandview agreeing not to replace Pizza with another animal.

They added no payment has been offered for the bear.

If the offer is accepted, the cost of transferring the polar bear will be raised and it will be up to both Yorkshire Wildlife Park and Grandview to arrange and secure the transfer in the shortest possible time.

Polar bears are the largest carnivores in the world, weighing around 107st (680kg) and measuring up to 8ft (2.5m) long.

They can swim up to six miles per hour and are known to travel up to 62 miles from shore in the wild.