Knut, Dead at Age 4 Animal Writes: PETA Foundation’s Blog
  • 22
  • Mar

Knut, Dead at Age 4

Knut, the polar bear cub who was the toast of the Berlin Zoo four short years ago, is dead. He was only 4 years old. 

Months ago, PETA Germany had warned the head of the zoo that Knut was being terrorised by his three female companions, one being his mother, Tosca, (who had once been used in a circus.) He was under constant stress. PETA Germany repeatedly asked zoo authorities to move Knut away from the three females to a different location. Like most captive polar bears, Knut paced incessantly and bobbed his head repeatedly, signs of captivity-induced mental illness common in bears. One German zoologist termed Knut a “psychopath” but zoo officials insisted Knut was “fine.”

Previously, the zoo had tried to unload the less-cute (and less lucrative) adult Knut to another zoo. “It’s time for him to go – the sooner he gets a new home the better. Anything else would be financially irresponsible,” said the zoo’s senior bear keeper. The plans were scrapped in the face of public opposition. Polar bears naturally roam vast Arctic expanses and open water – which no zoo can provide. An Oxford University study found that polar bears suffer physical and mental anguish in captivity and noted that a polar bear’s typical enclosure size is about one-millionth of his or her minimum home-range size.

People who care about bears should refuse to buy a ticket to any zoo that profits from their misery.

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Comments

  1. avatar Ingrid says:

    Public opinion should not have come into it. It should not have been allowed to come this far. Despite being an animal rights supporter, I was appalled to hear of the call for Knut to be left to die as an abandoned cub. Hearing of the life he had, with moronic visitors throwing plastic toys and croissants for him, adoring him as a cub but expressing disappointment at his older self, I wonder what sort of shallow, narrow minded world we live in, and I now agree that he would have been better off left to die naturally or euthanised. Knut was never a symbol of global warming, these zoo visitors saw him as a cuddly bear and did not make the connection with the wider picture. This is a sad day. Those who leave flowers and shrines to Knut at the zoo would be better donating to PETA or wildlife organisations.

  2. avatar Ingrid says:

    It has just occurred to me the importance of saying that this is Ingrid korsan who made this comment, not Ingrid Selkirk. x

  3. avatar Ingrid says:

    Oh no, I mean Ingrid Newkirk, sorry Ingrid. Also I would like to say that Knut should be left to rest in peace and not displayed in a museum for people to gawp at. If he is shown in death, I feel very strongly that we should protest. I’m in no doubt that Berlin/Zoo are thinking of making more money out of him.

  4. avatar Cat says:

    I can’t believe that the Berlin Zoo had the nerve to try to ‘offload’ Knut to another zoo when he was no longer a cute little cub. If that doesn’t blatantly show that they were more interested in making a profit from him while they could then I don’t know what does. Also, having read more about him it seems that the zoo to some degree neglected to care for him properly, which is at least partially evidenced by the fact that they made him share an enclosure with three female polar bears, one of whom was his mother, yet polar bears are solitary animals and don’t normally live in groups. They apparently even told the keeper who hand reared him (who later died suddenly) that he could no longer look after him and made him stay away, yet they were only too happy to use him (and Knut) while they needed him. As a consequence of all this, Knut was (not surprisingly) depressed, traumatized from being bullied by the other polar bears and was also showing signs of illness, which apparently the zoo chose to ignore. I have a feeling the zoo is responsible for Knut’s death because of their neglect. I wouldn’t be surprised if he died due to an infection which spiralled out of control and affected his brain, which may have arisen because his pool and compound may not have been kept as clean as it should have been. Shame on Berlin Zoo for treating an animal this way. As sad as Knut’s death is though, I think in some ways he had a lucky escape. He could have been forced to endure 20+ more years of those torturous living conditions. RIP Knut. x

  5. avatar Brien Comerford says:

    Another example of humans exploiting a wonderful animal while concurrently being lethally negligent and irrevernt in reference to safeguarding him.

    • avatar Wowzers says:

      Think about all the publicity Knut garnered on behalf of polar bears everywhere during his fairly short life!

  6. avatar Ingrid says:

    Knut’s death is more important and tragic than that of Elizabeth Taylor who spent a life of ostentation, boasting of her minks (and how she got them) and the sporting of dubious diamonds. Knut’s death should have been the headline news, not hers. I found out about Knut in the UK by just idly browsing the news online and finding a tiny article…three days after his death.

  7. avatar isabel says:

    And the test result came back on knuts and i do hope that something can be done to the zoo.
    I have a feeling the zoo is responsible for Knut’s death because of their neglect. I wouldn’t be surprised if he died due to an infection which spiralled out of control and affected his brain, which may have arisen because his pool and compound may not have been kept as clean as it should have been. Shame on Berlin Zoo for treating an animal this way. As sad as Knut’s death is though, I think in some ways he had a lucky escape. He could have been forced to endure 20+ more years of those torturous living conditions.

  8. avatar isabel says:

    I have a feeling the zoo is responsible for Knut’s death because of their neglect. I wouldn’t be surprised if he died due to an infection which spiralled out of control and affected his brain, which may have arisen because his pool and compound may not have been kept as clean as it should have been. Shame on Berlin Zoo for treating an animal this way. As sad as Knut’s death is though, I think in some ways he had a lucky escape. He could have been forced to endure 20+ more years of those torturous living conditions.

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