This Picture of a Polar Bear on a Hot Day has People Upset

A picture showing a polar bear lying on a pile of ice inside his habitat at the Saint Louis Zoo has gone viral on X as people are raising concerns about the well-being of the animal. 

While the origin of the photo is unknown, the earliest share was on March 31 by X user Pls dnt go thru my likes LOL who wrote: “St.Louis zoo count yo mf days my lil cousin’s ain wanna see no half dead ass POLAR BEAR.” 

Then, on Monday, the image was picked up as a “developing” story by X user Dom Lucre. In his post, he explained that people were concerned about the polar bear’s “living conditions” on an 82-degree day

Together, the posts gained nearly 30 million views and more than 2,000 comments. However, the story doesn’t appear to have made headlines outside of X. 

In the comments, though, the Saint Louis Zoo responded to public concerns, dismissing accusations of mistreatment by random people on social media.  

The photo shows a content, healthy bear relaxing on a bed of ice in his favorite napping pose. Bears, just like a lot of animals and pets, sleep in all sorts of positions (yes, sometimes even ones that seem odd). This is normal bear behavior seen both in zoos and in the wild.

Polar bear Kali has the choice to stay inside in air conditioning or go into his outside habitat. Most of the time, he chooses to go outside. His habitat is full of fun enrichment and has multiple ice machines, cooling fans, shade, and saltwater pools kept cool year-round.

According to the Saint Louis Zoo’s website, Kali is an orphaned polar bear from Alaska. He’s been living in the 40,000-square-foot habitat since it opened in June 2015.

So that happened.