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Cuddly polar bear cub better off dead,

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#1    SilverCougar


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Posted 19 March 2007 - 08:19 PM



BERLIN, Germany (AP) -- Berlin Zoo's abandoned polar bear cub Knut looks cute, cuddly and has become a front-page media darling, but an animal rights activist insisted Monday he would have been better off dead than raised by humans.

"Feeding by hand is not species-appropriate but a gross violation of animal protection laws," animal rights activist Frank Albrecht was quoted as saying by the mass-circulation Bild daily, which has featured regular photo spreads tracking fuzzy Knut's frolicking.

"The zoo must kill the bear."

When Knut -- or "Cute Knut," as the 8.7 kilogram (19 pound) bear has become known -- was born last December, his mother ignored him and his brother, who later died. Zoo officials intervened, choosing to raise the cub themselves.

The story prompted quick condemnations from the zoo, politicians and other animal rights groups.

"The killing of an animal has nothing to do with animal protection," said Wolfgang Apel, head of the German Federation for the Protection of Animals.

Politicians weigh in on bear
Greens politician Undine Kurth called the suggestion "fully unacceptable." Petra Pau of the opposition Left Party invoked the widely-reported case of an Italian bear dubbed "Bruno" who wandered last year into southern Germany, only to be killed by hunters at the behest of local authorities worried about residents and livestock.

"Berlin is not Bavaria, therefore it will be better for Knut than Bruno," Pau said.

Albrecht told The Associated Press his beliefs were more nuanced than reported by Bild, though he applauded the debate the article had started.

He explained that though he thought it was wrong of the zoo to have saved the cub's life, now that the bear can live on his own, it would be equally wrong to kill him.

"If a polar bear mother rejected the baby, then I believe the zoo must follow the instincts of nature," Albrecht said. "In the wild, it would have been left to die."

The German animal rights organization "Four Paws" argued along similar lines, saying it would not be right to punish the cub for a bad decision made by the zoo.

Other activists have also argued that current treatment of the cub is inhumane and could lead to future difficulties interacting with fellow polar bears.

"They cannot domesticate a wild animal," Ruediger Schmiedel, head of the Foundation for Bears, told Der Spiegel weekly in its Monday edition.

Albrecht cited a similar case of a baby sloth bear that was abandoned by its mother last December in the Leipzig city zoo and killed by lethal injection, rather than being kept alive by humans.

But Knut belongs to the Berlin Zoo, and their veterinarian Andre Schuele, charged with caring for him, disagrees.

"These criticisms make me angry, but you can't take them so seriously," Andre Schuele said. "Polar bears live alone in the wild; I see no logical reason why this bear should be killed."

Schuele also argued that given the increased rarity of polar bears in the wild, it makes sense to keep them alive in captivity so that they can be bred.

"Polar bears are under threat of extinction, and if we feed the bear with a bottle, it has a good chance of growing up and perhaps becoming attractive as a stud for other zoos," Schuele said.

Knut, who recently posed for a photo shoot with star-photographer Annie Leibovitz for an environmental protection campaign, is scheduled to make his public debut at the zoo later this week or early next week, according to Schuele.

Until then, Germans can follow the bear's progress in a vast photo spread and videos of Knut drinking from his bottle, bathing and playing with teddy bears and soccer balls, all available on the zoo's Web site.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

WTF?  No seriously... WTF?

As a hippie, animal lover, all that jazz... this sickens me.

Why on *EARTH* would they think that it's ok to kill the cub, when it's IN A ZOO, because "that's what would happen in nature."

Wait.. wait...  for those activists that missed it...

IT'S IN A FRICKEN ZOO!  While zoos try to give the animals as much of a natural setting as possible.. IT'S NOT 100% NATURAL!!  They are there to perserve animals, they are there to make sure certain species stay alive.  And a good portion of animals in zoos are hand raised anyways!  

Do you kill human babies when their mothers reject them? No! They're put in foster care or orphanages to be cared for by someone else!!  

What kind of idiot are you people?!  Seriously, quit making causes that really shouldn't be made.

Edited by SilverCougar, 19 March 2007 - 08:20 PM.

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#2    Purplos


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Posted 20 March 2007 - 03:10 AM

I had pretty  much the same reaction as you.

It's a zoo.  I wonder how they got the other animals for the zoo, either wild capturing or captive breeding, or from abandonment or rescue.

Why bother having a zoo?  Why not just kill all animals that aren't cavorting happily in the wild?

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#3    robbieb


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Posted 20 March 2007 - 03:23 AM

there are many cases of a polar bear or any bear for that matter raised by humans properly in a zoo setting capable of living normal lives and interacting with other bears in captivity normaly killing it is insane and these people need to take a good long look in the mirror break it and then slit there rists with the shards because they would be helping more animals by killing them selves and take it form me people i am a zoologist most of these groups hurt more then help

#4    organgrinder


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Posted 20 March 2007 - 04:27 AM

Haha. For some reason this reminds me of the Simpsons where Homer and Lisa go to the zoo and Lisa is complaining about how evil zoos are and Homer says something along the lines of, "The zoo opens up a whole new way of life to the animals, sweetie. Where else would they be able to experience boredom, obesity and loss of purpose? It's the American dream."
I can't understand why it would matter if a captive bear is hand-fed. I love animals and I even once, just once tried to understand PETA, but they are the worst monsters ever. Whoever this guy is who wants to kill the bear sounds like just the type of guy they would want in PETA. It's really pretty idiotic. It's not like they want to release the bear into the wild...

#5    glynne64


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Posted 20 March 2007 - 05:40 AM

I can't believe that they can't see anything positive about the bear being in the zoo.  It may give scientist to watch how the animals grow & the fact that it might be able to be used to procreate.  WHY NOT?!!

Like you, organgrinder, when I hear reasoning by animal activists...my head explodes!  Can you see that from where you are?  wink2.gif

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#6    Owlscrying


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Posted 20 March 2007 - 08:17 AM

bear was not left in wild - somewhere another zoo will take him...
hate when humans think they have power...cause thay real bad at it.....

#7    frogfish



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Posted 20 March 2007 - 09:52 PM

They call themselves animal acitivists?

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#8    ToxicLogic


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Posted 20 March 2007 - 09:54 PM

So they say since the mother didn't want him that they should kill him. Does that mean that they also believe that if a human mother doesn't want her kid, we should just kill it unstead of giving it a home?

#9    Lotus Flower

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 11:11 PM

I always thought that activists (in whatever capacity they place themselves) were for the rights of their subject.

Killing an animal doesn't sound to me like they are standing up for its right - to live.  If it is in a zoo, it may not be free, but then again it would probably be killed in the wild by other animals.

As an afterthought, if freedom should be available to all living things, how come humans are often the most captive?

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#10    Crimson_Magician_7


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Posted 21 March 2007 - 01:11 AM

how about we take these activists and do what nature would have done with them...

Break their limbs and throw them to the bears to eat...make them useful to the grand scheme of life.

This is why I hate groups like PETA and such, they try to act like they know better then what nature and good old fashioned human caring know about animals and what to do with them. Good old fashioned human arrogence, disgusting.

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#11    girty1600



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Posted 21 March 2007 - 01:25 AM


I love animals and I even once, just once tried to understand PETA, but they are the worst monsters ever. Whoever this guy is who wants to kill the bear sounds like just the type of guy they would want in PETA.

Agreed. 100%.

I will be very surprised if this isn't a move cooked up by a PETA faction.

If the situation were different, the cub was born in the wild and some animal exploiter took it after it was abandoned and attempted to raise it some road-side hell-hole tourist trap I would probably be up in arms too.  But to kill him rather than feed him.  That's just sad.  


So they say since the mother didn't want him that they should kill him. Does that mean that they also believe that if a human mother doesn't want her kid, we should just kill it unstead of giving it a home?

Some of these so-called animal lovers put animals above humans in all aspects of life.  I doubt it will be too long before they suggest just that.

#12    MissMelsWell


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Posted 22 March 2007 - 11:29 AM

Ugh, I can't stand these animal activist types! PETA has killed more animals than I care to think about. Including an experience I had personally where I saw them basically kill a rare tropical bird then flee from the cops. They're horrible people.

Polar bear cubs have been very successfully raised under the watchful eyes humans. Klondike and Snow in Florida at SEa World are a really good example. I saw them there about 7 years ago. Wonderful experience. Like this story, their mother rejected them and died.

There sure is a big difference between animal lovers and activists.... the activists of orgs like PETA, Im convinced are actually animal haters. *chills up the spine**

Edited by MissMelsWell, 22 March 2007 - 11:32 AM.

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#13    Ashley-Star*Child


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Posted 22 March 2007 - 12:39 PM

Thereis absolutely NO reason to put this poor cute as hell polar bear cub down. I am DISGUSTED supposed 'animal activists' would even SUGGEST such a thing.

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#14    Dr. Strangelove

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 12:51 PM

Instead of shooting the bear, can we shoot the "Animal rights" activists?

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#15    BlueZone


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Posted 22 March 2007 - 01:21 PM

This seems to me like a classic case of extremists falling in love with their dogma to the point that they lose their compassion.  The cub isn't an abstract principle-- it's a baby animal.  Raising it by hand isn't going to destroy the species.

I'm an animal nut, but I could never get behind the "animal activist" movement.  Like all extremists, they're out of touch with what's important.

I never felt the slightest desire to wear fur until I saw a PETA demonstration.  At that point I felt like wearing the furriest coat I could find, encouraging them to throw blood on me, and then returning fire with some pepper spray.

Edited by BlueZone, 22 March 2007 - 01:27 PM.

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