Remember Knut The Polar Bear?? A Sad Up-date About Him

Knut the Polar Bear Today~~Called a Psycho Bear - image of the grown up polar bear, Knut
@pyewacket (44036)
United States
March 27, 2008 6:32pm CST
No, don't worry, Knut the cute cuddly polar bear that drew world wide attention isn't dead or anything like that, but according to Berlin Zoo officials his "mental" health has deteriorated. I heard this on the news last night and decided to find out any articles about him. Anyway if you remember, Knut's mother "abandoned" him shortly after birth and he was instead hand-raised by some of the caring people at the Berlin Zoo. He was probably one of the most photographed infant polar bears and everyone fell in love with this cute cuddly orphaned polar bear. Well now he's grown up and according to zoo officials he is so used to humans and being center of attention still, that he no longer acts like a polar bear anymore and will actually "cry" if no humans are around him, whether zoo keepers or his "audience." Here's an article about Knut (Quote) ..."BERLIN — Knut the polar bear has turned from a cuddly cub into a publicity-addicted psycho, one of his keepers has claimed. Markus Roebke said Berlin Zoo's celebrity animal was obsessed with the limelight and howled with rage when denied an audience."Knut must go and the sooner the better," he said, insisting that the bear should be sent to an animal park where he received less attention"He is addicted to the whole show, the human adulation. It is not healthy."He actually cries out or whimpers if he sees that there is not a spectator outside his enclosure ready to ooh and aah at him."When the zoo had to shut because of black ice everywhere he howled until staff members stood before him and calmed him down." Knut was rejected by his mother after he was born in December 2006, prompting some animal activists to say it would be better for him to die than to be weaned by man. The zoo let him live however and he has become a major attraction, pulling in millions of dollars in revenue so far. Now Knut is bigger, the crowds are larger - and, his keeper warns, his mental health is deteriorating Mr Roebke added: "The trouble is that he identifies himself as a human and not as a polar bear."And as long as he is with us he will always think of Thomas Doerflein, the keeper who brought him up when he was a baby, as his father. Knut needs publicity and that must change..." http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,342100,00.html What are your feelings about this?? Do you think its a statement that instead of helping animals exist free from being killed off or hunted down in the wild that zoos create more problems for animals in their care?
6 people like this
17 responses
• United States
28 Mar 08
Stranger?? - Email avatar
pyewacket something very strange happened!!! When I received the amil notification of this discussionyour avatar was of a man not your pretty black cat. I copied it is it one of your photos do you know who it is?Copy of your(???)other avatar:
3 people like this
• United States
28 Mar 08
Yup. Same one that was in my email as well.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I know this is so hilarious about that avatar thing..have absolutely no idea who that picture is of..If I were to change my avatar it would be of another kitty
1 person likes this
@biwasaki (1745)
• United States
27 Mar 08
I think if Knut had been allowed to die, animal conservationists and groups like PETA would have been screaming about the injustice of it. Either way, I think the zoo has been put into a tough situation. Hopefully they can put him into an environment where he would have more interaction with other polar bears and less with humans. I don't think that zoos create more problems for the animals in their care if the animals were born in captivity. If an animal is taken from the wild and put into a zoo, I think it is unhealthy for the animal because they're now in a restricted environment.
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 Mar 08
Well I don't know about other animal rights groups but I do know a group like PETA was all for having Knut put down as they are against zoos in general. No I don't think they could ever release a polar bear like Knut into the wild, he'd never survive after being so used to human environments
1 person likes this
@biwasaki (1745)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I didn't say he should be released into the wild, he would never survive. I think he should be given to another zoo where there are other polar bears for him to interact with.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 Mar 08
Wonder if he could interact with other polar bears though as he's been so isolated from his own species
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Mar 08
Oh that's sad and touching :) It's sweet and interesting to think that he actually needs human attention! I think it's a paradox of whether were helping or hurting these animals. I think it's important that we study animals so we can better create natural habitats and learn about them. But maybe sometimes we go to far.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 Mar 08
Many animals, especially on big game reserves do live in environments close to their own natural ones..problems with something like polar bears there habitats are diminishing due to the global warming thing...how could we ever recreate an Arctic type environment??
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Mar 08
That's a very good point. We really need to fix this problem and fast! It'll be a sad day when polar bears and penguins are extinct.
1 person likes this
@TerryZ (22083)
• United States
28 Mar 08
Awwwww that is so sad. And he is adorable. I think they need to put some other bears in with him to keep him company. What were they thinking? The poor guy needs some company.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
29 Mar 08
That's exactly what I thought...they should have raised with other bears as well,now if they did that he might not get along with them...poor guy
1 person likes this
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
28 Mar 08
the poor guy, I feel bad for him, humans are the only creatures he knows, and now it is the responsibility of humans to treat him like them would their pet dog.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
29 Mar 08
I know it is sad..that zoo, while their intentions were good, bungled it how they raised him
@ElicBxn (60895)
• United States
27 Mar 08
I view zoos as a needed extension of the gene pool for some animals. For the last 50 years zoos have taken great care to prevent interbreeding of the captive population - with some noted failures and a lot of success. The Florida puma has had a genetic shot in the arm by bringing in Texas pumas to diversify the gene pool, something humans may not have considered if not for the problems they had for a while with the zoo population.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 Mar 08
Too bad though they couldn't have raised him with other polar bears though instead of keeping him so isolated and only used to humans
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
28 Mar 08
Ok I spoke to soon you have turned into a Man now Pye you could have told me you know that you where planning on turning into a Male Form over Night It is understandable that this is what the Bear will think as he was brought up by him and not his Mother so he connects to this Person as one of his
2 people like this
@BarBaraPrz (20692)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
28 Mar 08
polar bear - Polar bear patting dog on the head.
Bears are more human than one might suspect. A friend sent me Norbert Rosing's striking images of a wild polar bear coming upon tethered sled dogs in the wilds of Canada's Hudson Bay. The photographer was sure that he was going to see the end of his dogs when the polar bear wandered in. Instead, the polar bear played with the dogs and returned every night that week.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 Mar 08
Yes, pola did a discussion about the videos showing his husky dogs interacting and playing with polar bears...is that the friend you're talking about? It was amazing to watch
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (20692)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
28 Mar 08
No, it was someone not on myLot, and only a few stills. I didn't know there was a video of it.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
29 Mar 08
Managed to find the video... ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE-Nyt4Bmi8
@someonesmom (5765)
• Canada
28 Mar 08
Hi pye, I think Knut is adorable, and I've certainly never heard of anything like this happening. It's too bad he has to be 'banished' through something that's not his fault at all. As others have stated, why couldn't he have been exposed to other polar bears, from a much younger age. I think zoos can do a good job at rescuing animals, but in this particular case, it doesn't seem like they handled things correctly.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
29 Mar 08
No that zoo really handled it very poorly and bungled it so they have no one else to blame but themselves....really sad when you think of it
1 person likes this
• Canada
29 Mar 08
I agree, but at least Knut got the chance to live, which I think is very important, and hopefully, they can figure out a way to rectify the problem.
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I feel bad for Knut. It is unfortunate that the Zoo did not keep their end of the bargain. They could have raised Knut like a baby polar bear instead of having him think he was human. Other zoos have done this with much success.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
29 Mar 08
What they should have done was raise with other bears as well don't you think??
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
29 Mar 08
No. I saw a show on a polar bear, raised by humans but they allowed him to have animal instincts - sort of like raising baby birds that you release to the wild. They had contact with him, but made him forage for his food and other things he would have done in the wild. The bear in the show was eventually placed with two other bears but had lived the first 2 years of his life by himself.
1 person likes this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
28 Mar 08
Knut The Polar Bear - Has my support, the poor little guy doesn't understand.
I think these people are just wanting to pawn him off to someone else to deal with his issues. They should've thought about the outcome before they allowed humans to handle him in such a way and for so long. What a terrible shame. It's not the bear's fault in how he was brought up and turning him out to where he'll get even less attention could make him even worse. I feel for the little guy.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 Mar 08
They should have raised him with other bears and not just have human contact. My question is, could his behavior make him dangerous to the point where we have another incident like at that zoo where the tiger went after those kids and killed one? Hope not
1 person likes this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I agree. I hope not too. What a sad story.
1 person likes this
@youdontsay (3503)
• United States
29 Mar 08
Sounds like Knut needs a pet! Maybe he needs to care for another animal. I wonder what would happen if the conditioned him to interact with another animal, either another bear or some other animal not in his food chain. Maybe he'd attach himself to something that needed his attention. I'm sure if they really wanted to they could wean him from his addiction to attention. Shoot, maybe they should just put a large mirror in his cage!
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
29 Mar 08
They should have raised him with other bears to begin with...not just humans..maybe there is still a chance they might do this to get some of his bear traits back again
@nova1945 (1614)
• United States
28 Mar 08
Well, it's their own fault he became this way. Don't get me wrong, I am really glad they saved him rather than kill him. But the zoo keepers should never have had him on display that much. They nearly turned him into a circus act. In California they have a sanctuary called Wildlife Waystation where injured and abused/neglected wildlife are rehabilitated and re-released into the wild (if possible). The handlers there are never allowed to care for these animals (including babies) without wearing gloves and masks to cover their human smell/appearance. It is hard for the caregivers to do because they want to be affectionate toward thses darling creatures, but this is for the benefit of the animals. They just cannot let the animals become dependant on humans or equate humans with comfort and food so that they are better able to survive and blend in when released back into their natural habitat. As adorable as Knut was, he needed to believe that he is a wild animal and not a pet. Even though he is never to be released into the wild.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
29 Mar 08
That's how that Berlin zoo should have raised Knut..like the way they do at the Wildlife Waystation, and yes, by raising him the way they did, they did make him into a glorified circus act
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I think that it needs to be expected that a wild animal raised in captivity by ppl will take on human like behaviours and lose some of their wild instincts or rather those instincts and behaviours will become dormant....But as long as Knut is being cared for and loved etc I dont see the problem really UNLESS they were planning on releasing him to the wild....I would say that if he's acting like a pet they should treat him like one....I mean its not HIS fault ya know...The staff took on the responsiblity of this beautiful creature and thats that IMO.. If my husband and pets would let me I'd keep him here!
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
29 Mar 08
I just hope that his behavior doesn't turn out for the worse and he starts getting aggressive...as for releasing in the wild...things like that have actually been done in the past with success..remember the story of Joy Adamson and Elsa the lioness? She raised Elsa and the other baby cubs when young and eventually was able to set them free...uh, remember the movie Born Free? Yikes what a sap..cried at the end of that
• United States
28 Mar 08
I remember reading about Knut when he was just a little bear. I haven't heard much about him in a while, so this is new news to me. It's kinda sad to think about a mother abandoning her young, human or animal.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I wonder why his mother did abandon him anyway...sometimes female animals have a more maternal instinct than humans do
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
28 Mar 08
I wouldn't accept him being killed or left to die either. The Zoo decided to care for him, they better finish it up. They can't just throw up their hands due to this. Its a sad situation too, since they did do this wrong. I have problems with live animals being reduced to spectacles for slouch-browed, dull gaze people (and I remember the tiger situation in SF from earlier on for part of this).
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 Mar 08
All in all the zoo did bungle things up. Plenty of animals are raised in zoos but most are at least exposed to others of their species, which is what this zoo should have done...even if they did that not Knut might not adjust as he's too used to human only contact now
• United States
28 Mar 08
No I do not think killing him would have been the right thing to do. Man has made him the way he is so now they need to take the responsibility for undoing it. They have certainly earned enough from exploiting him so they can afford to give him what is necessary to help dehumanize him.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 Mar 08
That's the real sad part...they treated him like a money earning commodity for audiences rather than an animal who now can't be a real animal..he's too used to humans now