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Beefcake
03-22-2011, 07:37 PM
Animals in zoos is a tricky subject, with many reasons why and why not, but I :respec: this view that they are important* ...


The wildlife broadcaster Chris Packham acknowledges that a polar bear in captivity loses the ability to relate to bears in the wild. And he believes that if wild polar bears die out there is no point keeping some alive in zoos.

But he argues that zoos have a crucial advocacy role for animals in the wild. And if a zoo is treating the bear well - as he believes Berlin Zoo was with Knut - then keeping some in captivity is a price worth paying.

... and missed his handler Thomas Doerflein "We don't need many polar bears in captivity. But sacrificing those animals is justified as they become ambassadors for their species, striking awe into the hearts of humans. We don't want bears and tigers to go extinct."

The immediacy of zoo animals will always wow children and adults in a way that television documentaries cannot, he says.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12805534

*Trusting zoos to make the captive animals' habitats at least mostly suitable for said animals to be said animals.

Andora
03-22-2011, 08:21 PM
Thanks for the article, Beefcake. I'm not against animals in zoos (good zoos, anyways-- where they're properly treated, etc. etc., though that's always up for debate on its own). A few articles on Knut seemed to indicate something was really wrong for him specifically-- not polars bears in captivity in general.

StonewshMullet
03-22-2011, 09:55 PM
I think in nature he would have died while still a cub. Apparently he had brain damage which is probably why his birth mother rejected him at birth.

Flatfoote
03-22-2011, 11:17 PM
Amateur video of his collapse has surfaced. Don't click if you don't want to see.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/21/earlyshow/living/petplanet/main20045385.shtml


I wonder if polar bears can be stricken with vestibular disease. It's what eventually felled my 12-year-old dog a couple of years ago. Although the disease itself didn't really kill him, his inability to recover from it and start walking again forced us with the painful decision to put him down.

From the descriptions I've heard before seeing the video, Knut actually fell into the water and drowned before anyone could reach him. He's clearly distressed in the video, and just before he collapses, you can see a bunch of drool coming out of his mouth. Poor guy. :(

IceAlisa
03-22-2011, 11:29 PM
Between the vet's opinion and that of PETA, I am going to go with the vet. :shuffle:

Anita18
03-22-2011, 11:58 PM
Between the vet's opinion and that of PETA, I am going to go with the vet. :shuffle:
Especially since PETA didn't really get a chance to observe Knut before spouting off. :shuffle:

Sad though, he was a great ambassador. I had forgotten that his human "mother" died suddenly in 2008 too. :( Poor baby.

Beefcake
03-23-2011, 04:00 PM
Thanks for the article, Beefcake. I'm not against animals in zoos (good zoos, anyways-- where they're properly treated, etc. etc., though that's always up for debate on its own).
Yes. Ironically timely ... here is the flip side of zoos -- a report today on the "lives" (such as they are/were) and deaths of animals in the Kiev Zoo.

Warning: Very disturbing ... read at your own heart's peril (www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/shocking-number-of-animals-dying-at-kiev-zoo-032311#)

Tinami Amori
03-23-2011, 10:39 PM
If humans want to see wild animals, the humans should be put in cages on wheels and driven through forests, wild nature, etc.....

Zoos are EVIL. Nature Reserves where animals run free, but are protected and observed, are another story...

Gypsy
03-28-2011, 07:50 PM
Knut died from epilepsy (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110326/lf_nm_life/us_germany_knut)