Arctic animals don't belong in tropics

Paying tribute to Inuka and bidding him farewell are all very well (Zoo staff pay tribute to Inuka; April 27).

But we must ask if he should have been here in the first place and all these years.

The tropics was never his natural habitat, which was the Arctic tundra, where there are long cold winters and short cool summers.

Polar bears love to roam long distances, spending much of their time on the Arctic sea ice and swimming in the freezing waters.

They have the freedom to play, hunt, mate and take in the wide open spaces.

This is not something that can be duplicated in a zoo, no matter how hard we try.

Although Singaporeans have done much for Inuka, they must realise that animals like him belong elsewhere.

Animals like polar bears and husky dogs do not belong here, as much as we would like them to.

They belong with others of their kind out in the wild in the Arctic, which contains all they need to live.

They also play a vital role in their ecosystems.

Taking such animals away only leads to the breakdown of that complex ecosystem over time.

Manoraj Rajathurai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2018, with the headline 'Arctic animals don't belong in tropics'. Print Edition | Subscribe