Why Do Polar Bears Need Prozac?

Life or Lunch?

He was the iconic face of the Central Park Zoo, a celebrity in his own right, with visitors flocking to take a glimpse at him doing his famous act: compulsively swimming. For up to 12 hours a day, every day, Gus the polar bear would swim in figure-eight patterns. To tourists and New Yorkers, he was memorizing. To zoo officials, he was neurotic and in need of serious medical help.

Since 1988, the polar bear had been living in a 5,000-square-foot enclosure — “less than .00009 percent of what his range in the Arctic would be,” according to animal expert Laurel Braitman. On top of living in such a small space, he was extremely bored.  Gus was the only polar bear at the Central Park Zoo, forcing him to a life of solitary confinement. Alone in captive isolation, he was beginning to his mind, which led to his…

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2 thoughts on “Why Do Polar Bears Need Prozac?

  1. Thanks for sharing this. It goes without saying of course antidepressants are not the answer. Antidepressants also come with unpleasant side effects and are not the magic cure all of depression or anxiety even in humans that we tend to think they are.

    Time to stop imprisoning animals in zoos, just like us animals can never be happy unless they are free.

    Liked by 1 person

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