Pictures Show the Strange Lives of Captive Polar Bears
Do the arctic bears belong in captivity? One photographer sat, and watched them.
During a particularly brutal Chicago winter in 2014, photographer Sheng Wen Lo remembers reading that it was too cold for polar bears housed in the city’s Lincoln Park Zoo to go outside. It sounded like the lead-up to a bad joke, but it was true. Captive polar bears aren’t as tough as wild ones. Their skin is thinner and they can’t withstand extreme cold.
The news was particularly striking to Lo. For three years, he has been photographing captive polar bears in 25 zoos and other enclosures in Europe and China. The series, called White Bear, exposes the welfare of animals within artificial habitats by observing their behavior.
It’s tempting to look at Lo’s images as a pointed argument against