You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"
Gosh, he was only four years old...
Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
(Edna St Vincent Millay)
So sad and strange.
Read in the article he was rejected by his mother at birth and that the three female bears in the pen with him weren't inviting him over for tea parties. Maybe there is a reason for this and that Knut wasn't meant to survive and only did so for four years because man stepped in.
Tessa and Scott: Thank you
I'm glad I got to see him two years ago. He was so cute.
Very sad, poor Knut
Rest in peace darling Knut.
In Canada they mention the normal life spans for Polar Bears in the wild and in captivity. In Winnipeg we lost our last Polar Bear, Debbie a little while ago - she was 42 - very ancient.
Wikipedia page has more info on how his life may not have been so fantastic.
RIP indeed, though. Maybe things could have turned around for him over time?
Animals in zoos is a tricky subject, with many reasons why and why not, but I this view that they are important* ...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12805534The 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.
*Trusting zoos to make the captive animals' habitats at least mostly suitable for said animals to be said animals.
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.
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.
Amateur video of his collapse has surfaced. Don't click if you don't want to see.
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.
Between the vet's opinion and that of PETA, I am going to go with the vet.
"Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."
from Speedy Death