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Greenpeace unleashes polar bear on Auckland

Wednesday 23 Apr 2014 8:49a.m.

Greenpeace unleashes polar bear on Auckland

A polar bear is on the loose in Auckland city this morning, and although it might not be real, it's delivering a strong message to New Zealanders.

The stunt is part of a Greenpeace campaign to create awareness of climate change in the Arctic, which is destroying the bears' habitat.

"A polar bear in New Zealand is a long way from home, it's a sign that something's amiss," says Greenpeace NZ's Steve Abel.

"We've brought this polar bear down here to bring that message to New Zealanders and ask them to join a global call for the Arctic to be declared a sanctuary – out of bounds for oil drilling – and also a sanctuary for the good of all humanity because the Arctic is a very important climate regulating system for all of us."

The polar bear suit appeared in a powerful Greenpeace television campaign, where it was shown walking the streets of London and digging through rubbish.

The suit is operated by two people who have been training for weeks to get the movements as realistic as possible.

"The Arctic […] is a great climate regulating system for the entire planet," says Mr Abel. "It reflects the sun's rays back out to space and thereby it helps to keep us all cool and safe, and if the Arctic is unwell, it's not good for all of us."

Greenpeace NZ is also working to declare the Antarctic a sanctuary, which would restrict oil drilling.

"What we need is for the United Nations to do the same thing for the Arctic – protect that amazing, icy waterness, and make sure that our grandkids have the hope of living on a planet that still has polar bears."

The polar bear will wander the streets of Parnell tomorrow.

3 News

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