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Zoo blocked from saving Argentine polar bear

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Vaya con Dios, Arturo.

The Argentine polar bear doesn’t have the required medical records and documentation and won’t likely be coming to Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo.

A Canadian import permit can’t be issued for Arturo without specific medical records dating back a minimum of three years and Mendoza Zoo representatives in Argentina have confirmed that they are unable to fulfill this requirement, a news release from the Assiniboine Park Conservancy says.

"There are very strict regulations that must be met to bring an animal into Canada," Don Peterkin, chief operations officer said in the release.

"These regulations are in place to ensure the health and welfare of animals and animal-related industries so without the proper health records in place it’s simply not possible to obtain the permits required."

Zoo officials will be connecting by Skype with Arturo’s keepers in Argentina Friday to assess the polar bears health. They’ve also offered to send a member of Winnipeg’s veterinarian team to Mendoza in the near future to help evaluate Arturo’s existing environment and, if possible, provide recommendations for improvements, the release said.

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