Abandened Polar Bear Cub to be Killed!

Baby Polar Bear - Is he to be killed, because he was rejected by his Mother, & hand reared by a zoo keeper? In the Wild, he would be, but he wasn't born in the wild, he was born in an environment of human reaction.
@jennybianca (12914)
Australia
March 22, 2007 5:45am CST
What would you do in this situation? (3 photos below & my comment) HE'S cute, he's cuddly, and according to some animal rights activist Knut the baby polar bear should die. The three-month-old cub is at the centre of a media storm in Germany, with debate raging over the role of zoos and the "humanising" of wild animals. The bear was saved and hand-reared by a keeper at Berlin Zoo after being rejected and left to die by its mother. But animal rights campaigners have argued the zoo's actions will humanise the bear too much and want it to stop saving young animals."Hand-rearing a polar bear is not appropriate and is a serious violation of animal rights," the Bild newspaper quoted animal rights campaigner Frank Albrecht as saying."In fact, the cub should have been killed."However, Berlin Zoo said the animal would not be put down or left to fend for itself: "That's complete nonsense," a spokesman said. Knut has become an unofficial Berlin city mascot and has even had his picture taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz as part of a new climate change campaign. His fate has gripped the German capital since his birth in December. Knut's mother Tosca - formerly a performing animal in an East German zoo - rejected Knut and his twin brother shortly after their birth. The twin died, but Knut was "adopted" by zookeeper Thomas Doerflein. The polar bear is bottle-fed, washed and cuddled by his adoptive father, who moved in to the zoo to sleep in a bed by the bear´s crate. Newspapers have reported that Mr Doerflein plays him Elvis songs on the guitar and gave him Christmas presents. With debate raging, the director of Aachen zoo, Wolfram Ludwig, stepped into the row, saying he also believed Berliners made the wrong decision in saving Knut."It is not correct to bottle-feed a small polar bear. He will always be fixated on his keeper and will never grow to be a proper polar bear," he said. Knut, he said, should have been killed when Tosca rejected him. "One should have had the courage to kill him much earlier."Leipzig zoo showed the way last December by injecting a rejected baby sloth with T61, a poison that kills in two seconds. The argument used by Leipzig and specialists such as Rödiger Schmiedel, the head of Germany’s Bear Foundation, is that it is impossible to domesticate a wild animal so it is better not to start. But the "save Knut" looks set to win the day. The cub is due to be presented to the public this week after reaching the critical weight of 8kg, at which he is deemed strong enough to face TV cameras. It will then be even harder to dispatch him quietly with a T61 jab. "The humanisation of this bear has to stop as soon as possible," said Wolfgang Apel, the head of the German animal protection league, "but he has a right to live." With Reuters and The Times of London
16 people like this
33 responses
22 Mar 07
I saw this on the news and was under the impression that he wouldn't be killed. Although there are supporters of the killing it was more likely that he would go to a zoo for the time being and then a sanctuary. I really hope he isn't killed as that would be awful. I appreciate that it isn't natural for a polar bear to be close to humans and so happy with their contact but that hasn't stopped humans domesticating other animals, so why should this one off exception be any different. These people are never happy unless they have something to complain about!
@ljcapps (1926)
• United States
22 Mar 07
Actually, you're completely right. The title to this discussion is a little misleading in that authorities have already decided against putting this little polar bear to sleep. here's the actual article if anyone is interested. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=443541&in_page_id=1770&ico=Homepage&icl=TabModule&icc=picbox&ct=5 For everyone else, this is the highlight of the article But Knut has been spared. "There will be no executioner coming for him, I guarantee you," said Berlin Zoo chief vet Andre Schuele.
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
22 Mar 07
The bear would never be a real bear in the circus or zoo anyway so that arguement is dumb. The survival of the species is the key here and not being concentrated on. The exposure of this little one to the public should prove interesting. I hope that the public stands up and tells Rodiger to find more worthwhile animals projects to take on. After taking some classes in animal biology and characteristics. Hope this all works out, keep us posted!!
4 people like this
• United States
22 Mar 07
I think that is just wrong on so many levels. To kill it just because it was abandoned? I thought animal right's people were against killing animals? True story... on the news in Arkansas two nights ago there was a story about two young boys finding an abandoned squirral and (I joke you not) it is now being raised by a dog! I will try to post a copy of the story on mylot. But the point I'm trying to make is if a Dog can be an adoptive mother to a squirral than they can surely find another animal to take care of this cub.
• United States
22 Mar 07
I can't paste yet but the story I mentioned is online at www.5newsonline.com/Global/story.asp?S=6241640 if you want to read it.
3 people like this
@KarenO52 (2951)
• United States
22 Mar 07
I heard about that too. If animals like dogs and cats can care for babies of other species, why is it not natural for human beings to do the same?
2 people like this
@Calais (10900)
• Australia
22 Mar 07
How wrong to want to kill this bear, their numbers are dwindling in the wild and they just want to kill this one???? So what if it gets humanised its not going to be leaving the zoo, at least it will have a life which it deserves.
2 people like this
@nancyrowina (3850)
22 Mar 07
I don't see how saving the cubs life is violating it's rights aren't Polar Bears endangered? Nearly everything seems to be these days. It seems stupid to kill the cub rather than have it live in captivity for the rest of it's days, they can build good environments in captivity nowadays perhaps the cub may end up in a reserve.
2 people like this
@KarenO52 (2951)
• United States
22 Mar 07
I saw a news feature on this little bear. He seemed to be well cared for and was playing and having fun. I think those activist who want to have the bear killed because it's not natural to be raised in captivity are way out of line.
2 people like this
@bonbon50 (659)
• United States
22 Mar 07
This is a touchy situation and I can see how both sides feel they are right. Polar bears have diminished in population by 28% in the last decade alone due to the melting of ice masses in Greenland. What needs to be realized, is this cute, cuddly bear will grown to be 400-500 lbs. and no matter how much interaction it has with humans it will still have the instinct it was meant to have. I can almost see this bear being 'put down' in a few years when it attacks a human, as if it has done something wrong. Many people are under the impression that if we overload a wild animal with human love that it will never come to harm a human. This simply isn't true. I think the activists that are against this cub being humanized are more concerned with the long term fate of this soon to be bear. That they believe it would be less cruel to put it down now than later because it acted like 'a bear'. Perhaps they're right.
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
23 Mar 07
Some very good comments here. Would a "humanized" polar bear be alright in a zoo? A zoo that is well equiped with a lot of space.
@bonbon50 (659)
• United States
23 Mar 07
I think that's the only destination that will work in this situation. As long as people don't assume the bear is 'tame' when it reaches adulthood. No one likes to hear of an attack on a human, but it sometimes bothers me when they'll kill an alligator because it's bitten off someone's limb. Or a shark because it's bitten a swimmer. These animals are just acting natural. It's not that I prefer the animals over humans. People should respect nature and avoid the situations where these things can occur. Man cannot civilize everything to his satisfaction. No one would intentionally walk into the middle of a tornado, or the eye of a hurricane. So I don't understand why people place themselves in places of peril where wild animals are concerned. Hopefully, this cub will find placement in a proper place; where it's accepted by it's kind and yet have it's instincts respected by humans.
@kris2080 (157)
• Philippines
23 Mar 07
Whatever their reason is, I believe that every creature in this earth has the right to live...It's not a reason that he's a wild animal,that he cant be raised in a humanised manner.It's life that we're talking about here.I praise the person who's taking care of the cub right now,I wish him strenght to their journey and hope not to give up that fight!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Mar 07
I wonde3r if these animal rights people were rejected at birth? If so then they should have been put out of their missery (and ever one esles). True a wild animal will always be wild but an animal that we have interfered with has the right to our protection. Many zoos have the proper methods to keep amimals happy and healthy. Also by keeping this animal alive we will have a bigger gene pool to chose from if we need it.
1 person likes this
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
24 Mar 07
I always thought activist wanted animals to stay alive. I think it will be awlful if they kill the polar bear. He is doing fine, so it is not hurting anyone.
1 person likes this
@deepti15 (1190)
• India
23 Mar 07
How can they even think of killing Knut. he really looks so cute and adoreable. They have no rights what so ever to kill such an innocent kid. My god, he has not attacked anyone has he, NO. He till date is harmless, then why kill him. I plead all of you, to do something for Knut. Atleast we can all pray for him.
• Canada
23 Mar 07
Wow! What a story! You know, I hate when they start talking about the "humanization" of animals and how it shouldn't be allowed and how the bear should have been put down. If he'd been born in the wild then you know, maybe he WOULD have been killed. But the zoo is not the wild, and he was born with the intervention as far as possible of experienced vets and zookeepers. And so to that extent, the humanization started as soon as his momma went into labor and childbirth with him. To an extent I don't agree with his keeper moving into the zoo. Thats unorthodox and really where the overstepping the boundaries started. I'm glad though that he's not going to be killed. The bear should not have to suffer and die because of the mistakes of humans.
@joanana (772)
• United States
23 Mar 07
Wow that is just harsh. I can't understand how they would think that an abandoned animal should just be killed like that, especially since it is an endangered species to boot. Activists just don't make a lot of sense.
• United States
23 Mar 07
I don't think poor little knut should be killed but I don't think he should be coddled as that is doing more harm than good.He shouldn't become too dependent on his human handlers.
• United States
23 Mar 07
I am so surprised that a so called animal activist group would want to kill an animal! I'm not sure it is possible to domesticate a polar bear but killing it is definitely not the answer. They sound like a bunch of barbarians.
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
23 Mar 07
I think this story is so sad. I understand you can't domesticate a wild animal, but the bear isn't like out in the wild where he'd have to fend for himself. He'd be in a zoo or some kind of animal sanctuary where he's protected. For that reason I don't think anything should happen to him.
1 person likes this
@dlkuku (1936)
• United States
23 Mar 07
I am glad they are not going to kill him. That is just inhumane, if he has a chance at life, a well pampered life then he should have that.
• India
22 Mar 07
it is just a baby and how can other perople decide whether he should be alive or get killed... try to love other's who live on this planet... i mean how can you be so rude... try to consider that polar bear baby as your pet... then you'll come to know how painful it is to even think about that...
• United States
22 Mar 07
I swear the human race is getting worse and worse about killing! Next they will want to kill a human baby because the mother refused it! I feel heart warming graditude to this man who saved this little bear. Wild or not, he has a right to live! And it is not just over there that things like this happen. Our world has just gone kill happy! God must be so disappointed in us?
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar 07
I had heard about this story yesterday and i was completely shocked by it. I am a huge animal lover and an animal activist and i think it is SOOO horrible that anyone would want to kill that adorable little cub. It is not his fault that his mother rejected him and he has every right to live. He is an innocent,beautiful animal that should be appreciated no matter if he is totally wild, humanized,or whatever he grows to be.
• United States
22 Mar 07
I think it is utterly stupid to say the polar bear should be put down, and yes polar bears are an endangered species. What gives them to right to say the polar bear should be put down. They call themselves animal activist? I call them plain idiots. The bear is living healthy and happy leave him be.
1 person likes this