Newt Gingrich records personal PSA for a sad polar bear

Former House speaker and Republican candidate for president Newt Gingrich is the latest public figure to use social media and a sad face to advance a good cause.

“If you love animals the way I do you’re going to want to sign the petition to save the Argentinian polar bear Arturo,” says Gingrich in a 14-second video posted on his Instagram profile Wednesday.

Gingrich also sent the personal PSA to his 1.49 million followers on Twitter complete with the requisite hashtag “#freearturo.” The only thing missing, however, was a link to the actual Change.org petition, which currently has 134,000-plus signatures.

The petition asks Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to transfer 28-year-old Arturo from his “deplorable conditions” at the Mendoza Zoo to the Assiniboine Park Conservancy in Winnipeg. According to the Winnipeg Sun, Arturo’s relocation to Canada has been blocked because the Mendoza Zoo cannot provide the necessary medical records the Canadian government requires for such a transfer. In the meantime animal activists say Arturo has been spending his days in a small cage and high temperatures.

“This is very sad and he should be saved, so sign the petition,” concludes the “Crossfire” co-host while holding a picture of a polar bear we assume is Arturo.

Gingrich, 71, “is crazy for zoos.” At age 11, he lobbied local officials in his hometown of Harrisburg, Pa. to start a zoo.

Helena Andrews is the co-author of The Reliable Source. Follow her on Twitter @helena_andrews, and send your hot tips, sightings, and gossip to reliablesource@washpost.com.
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