All animal lovers(like me) are saddened by the sudden and untimely death of Knut the polar bear who made the Berlin Zoo rich and famous. His birth four years ago at the zoo and the rejection by his mother led to him being nurtured and raised by one of the zookeepers. Knut was bonded to that man and then became depressed and inactive when that zookeeper died of a heart attacck.
Knut’s 4-year life was totally unnatural for a zoo raised bear. Most polar bears in captivity live longer than polar bears in the wild…15-20 years in the wild and longer in captivity. But Knut died suddenly and horribly in front of the usual huge crowd of zoo visitors who came every day of his life to watch his antics in his enclosure.
An article in the UK daily mailonline described the death and the possible circumstances surrounding it. If you want to see the full story google “Knut’s Last Moments…” by Matt Blake in the UK Mailonline for Mar 21, 2011. The title of the article is longer but you should get it with those three words. It is a sad tale and a disturbing one.
Many members of animal rights groups have feared that Knut has been badly handled at the zoo…for one thing when he showed signs of depression after the zookeepers’ death, they put three female polar bears in the enclosure with Knut…for company supposedly but the three females bullied and harassed Knut and distressed him even more. The daily huge crowds of Knut visitors may have even compromised his health according to the Mail article. He showed signs of becoming a “psycho bear”…one who cannot live with out the crowds of specatators. A necropsy may tell the exact cause of death but some on lookers who saw the bear die speculate that it was a brain/nerve thing that killed him. His agony was recorded by one of the specators and I could not look at at. But it is there on the Mail online site article.
Someone has even wondered if someone threw him some food that could have poisoned him. It is a nasty thing to ponder but it could have happened with the daily hordes that came to watch the bear.
The outcome of the necropsy might tell something that the Berlin Zoo will not be happy with, especially if the stress of being such a celebrity bear which the zoo cashed in to the tune of over 6 million British pounds over the 4- year life span is implicated. I have always thought it unnatural to treat animals—-or people… in ways of displaying them.(the Dionne quintuplets of Canada were literally put on display and taken from their family and raised by the Canadian government in a “compound” setting, replete with daily visitors gawking at them.) Most of the Dionne girls lived troubled lives. If you are too young to remember the Dionne quints it is worth a bit of internet searching. I know that books were written about them also. They were born in 1934 I think…and there were no fertility drugs back then. It was a natural occurrence and almost unknown then…thus the extreme publicity. The country doctor who delivered them was mostly responsible for the life they led after their birth and their being made “wards of the national government”…for a lot of profit no doubt.
“Drill, Brazil, Drill!” is the title of an article about President Obama’s visit to that nation just his past few days.
The Investors Business Daily has an article of that title today. It tells of the US Presidents’ offer to finance Brazil’s drilling for oil off their shores and the additional offer for the US to import that oil. He has shut down all US drilling operations which have destroyed jobs galore but he urges Brazil to do what he will not allow in our nation with its vast resources of oil!!!!! It is just another part of the madness that seems to characterize this anchorless President and his policies.