Sunday, March 20, 2011
GERMANY'S world-famous polar bear Knut has died to a fanfare of lecturing by animal-rights lobby People for the Ethical treatment of Animals (PETA).
The photogenic bear was reared from a cub at Berlin Zoo by devoted keeper Thomas Doerflein after being rejected by his mother at birth.
The cub weighed just nine kilograms when born and became a star attraction at the zoo.
His untimely death this week was purportedly from a heart attack, although the cause is still being investigated.
Controversy broke soon after Knut's birth when PETA activist Frank Albrecht said he should have been put down after he and his twin brother were rejected by their mother. Apparently 'animal rights' does not include the right to live.
PETA then went on to launch a campaign to castrate the bear and this week has been reported as blaming the zoo for the death.
'We asked zoo authorities to move Knut. His premature death could have been avoided,' PETA said.
The group went on to attack what it said was 'intensive' breeding of polar bears in zoos and claimed putting him in an enclosure with three females led to 'enormous stress'.
The lobby declared that polar bears 'do not belong in captivity' although quite what the better option would have been for a hand-reared polar bear than being looked after by veterinarians and animal specialists at the zoo is anybody's guess.
But perhaps this was already answered by Mr. Albrecht several years ago.