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Knut the polar bear dies at age four

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Knut as a cubKnut the polar bear, who gained international fame as debate raged over whether he should be hand-reared or euthanised, has died at age four.

Knut and an unnamed twin brother were born on December 5, 2006, at the Berlin Zoological Garden. Their mother rejected them and they were abandoned on a rock in the polar bear enclosure. The zoo-keepers rescued the pair with an extended fishing net, though Knut's brother died of an infection four days later.

Knut had to be given 24-hour care, and controversy erupted in March, 2007, when the German tabloid Bild-Zeitung quoted animal-rights activist Frank Albrecht as saying that the bear should have been killed rather than be raised by humans.

Knut grown upWolfram Graf-Rudolf, the director of the Aachen Zoo (also in Germany), agreed, stating that the zoo-keepers "should have had the courage to let the bear die" after it was rejected by its mother. In response, a group of children protested at the zoo, holding up placards reading "Knut Must Live" and "We Love Knut". Others sent numerous emails and letters asking for Knut's life to be spared, and Berlin Zoo vowed not to harm him.

Knut was presented to the public on March 23, 2007. The controversy and media attention surrounding him lead to Knut being a consistently popular exhibit at the zoo, and Knut-related merchandise became a multi-million-euro industry.

On March 19, Knut collapsed and died in his enclosure in front of 600-700 visitors. They described how the bear's rear left leg began shaking before he became agitated and started convulsing. He then fell backwards into the enclosure's water pool, and drowned before he could be rescued by zoo-keepers. He was four years old. (Polar bears in captivity can live as long as 30 years.)

The cause of the convulsions is not yet known, though a necropsy has revealed evidence that Knut had a brain disease.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I wonder if mama bear could sense there was something wrong with Knut at such a young age and that's why she rejected him.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Poor thing....

R.I.P.

Your rating: None

I think if you are going to capture a pregnant mother and hold her in captivity, those who have the mother in captivity are just as responsible for the offspring as the mother. And in thus I'm glad they took responsibility for the cub.

The reason they were rejected by the mother was probably because she might have felt that she had nothing to teach them, the zoo feeds her, so why would she need to teach them anything? The humans will provide if they are not doing anything, so they don't have to do anything. And guess what, they proved her right.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Animal activist saying an animal should die. What the hell. That really angers me, worthless, stupid humans. He doesn't deserve to call himself an "animal activist". Killing an animal is not protecting it...

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The main animal activist that seems to be quoted in most stories about Knut has complained about the context of his original claim being ignored. Previous to Knut's birth, there was another zoo that had a different kind of bear cub rejected by its mother and the zoo decided to put it down. The activist, Frank Albrecht, sued the other zoo to prevent them from putting down the bear, but his case was just tossed out as it was deemed humans raising a rejected cub was unnatural. So when Knut was saved, he complained that if the previous cases had any proper legal standing and the law was consistent, the people in the previous case should demand that Knut be put down for the same reasons they did with the other bear. Since Knut had quite a bit of popular support, it was not expected anyone would legally challenge Knut's rescue, but instead serve the purpose of highlighting the problem of there being zoos that do the opposite of what was done with Knut.

Your rating: None

Frank Albrecht can take a long **** off a short pier, really. "Hey, let's just kill it while it's breathing instead of seeing if it can survive."
Lazy is what it is.

Anyway.. Brutal stuff.. RIP Knut.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (3 votes)

I think he should have never been born. If he hadn't of been born, he wouldn't of died.

Goodnight sweet prince.

Meepsheep

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