Arturo, Argentina's last polar bear, in 2014
Arturo, Argentina's last polar bear, photographed in 2014Getty

Arturo, dubbed the 'world's saddest' polar bear after an online petition to get him moved from the heat of South America, has died at Mendoza zoo in Argentina over the weekend. Hundreds of thousands of people had signed a petition to have Arturo moved to a zoo in Canada where temperatures would have better suited him.

Zoo officials said he was too old and weak to be moved to Canada. Arturo was said to have developed depression after his partner, Pelusa, died in 2012. He was said to have been the last-surviving polar bear in Argentina after another living in Buenos Aires died during a 2012 heatwave.

Arturo was 30-years-old when he died, having been brought to the zoo at the age of eight. Last month, Mendoza zoo was closed after over 60 animals died within a few months.

Thousands have now signed a petition started by Greenpeace Argentina asking the governor of Mendoza, Alfredo Cornejo, to convert the zoo into a conservation centre. The petition accuses the zoo of cramming animals into small cages with other species as well as poor sanitation, leaving animals "struggling to survive".

The original petition which sparked the campaign for Arturo to be relocated demanded he be sent to Assiniboine Park Zoo in Canada "where a natural habitat and a better life was awaiting him". The petition, which now has over a 1,200,000 signatures, was shared by a wide range of celebrities and political figures - from US Republican Party politician, Newt Gingrich, to celebrated singer and actress, Cher.

Arturo tries to keep cool in Argentina
Arturo tries to keep cool in his enclosure in 2014Getty