In a video released on social media, Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is asking everyone to bear with him and stick up for animal rights.
Gingrich, sporting a sad face and holding a picture of ragged-looking Argentinian polar bear, released a 14-second video on Instagram Wednesday in an appeal for people to sign a petition to force Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to transfer a 28-year-old polar bear, Arturo, from the “deplorable conditions” at his current home in the Mendoza Zoo to the Assiniboine Park Conservancy in Winnipeg.
“If you love animals the way I do you’re going to want to sign the petition to save the Argentinian polar bear Arturo,” Gingrich said in the video. The Republican politician also tweeted out his personal PSA to his 1.49 million followers and the social media savvy Gingrich also used the requisite hashtag “#freearturo.”
He did, however, forget to include a link to the Change.org petition, which currently has 186,000-plus signatures.
The petition is lobbying to bring the bedraggled bear to Canada, which has been held up because the Mendoza Zoo cannot provide the necessary medical records required by the Canadian government to bring Arturo closer to the polar climes of his ancestors.
Animal rights activists are angry as Arturo has been living in a small cage at the zoo in Mendoza, an Argentinean city near the country’s border with Chile.
“This is very sad and he should be saved, so sign the petition,” Gingrich said in the message.
According to Politico, Gingrich “is crazy for zoos” and one of his first political moves came at age 11 when he lobbied for a zoo to be built in his hometown of Harrisburg, Pa. He also took to social media back in 2011 to offer his condolences after the passing of Knut, a polar bear at the Berlin Zoo.