Zoo owner apologizes for mistreatment of animal

SAN FRANCISCO — An aquarium operator who mistreated a polar bear and put her down in a pool for a photo is apologizing for the situation.

The owner of the zoo in Houston, Texas, apologized on Monday for the incident that occurred last month.

In a statement to CBS News, zoo owner William Schoelzer said, “The zoo is very proud of its animal collection and is taking this matter very seriously.

I sincerely apologize for any pain that this incident caused and I will continue to do everything I can to ensure the safety and welfare of all our guests.”

Schoelzler, who has operated the zoo since the 1960s, was fired by the zoo earlier this year.

He told ABC News that he was told to take the polar bear to a different enclosure and that the bear was put down there.

Schoalzer says he was not aware of the situation until his assistant showed him a picture on social media of a bear being put down in the pool.

He says the bear is currently being cared for by a veterinary staff member at the zoo.

The zoo has now banned the use of polar bears for photo shoots.