Zoo accused of contributing to Knut's death
Tuesday 22 March 2011
Animal rights groups have sharply criticised Berlin's zoo, saying that the way the polar bear Knut was raised and held in captivity could have led to his death at such a young age.
The four-year-old bear collapsed and died in his enclosure in front of a 600-strong crowd of visitors at Berlin zoo on Saturday. Witnesses said he suffered a series of convulsions and appeared to have had an epileptic fit or a heart attack
As veterinary surgeons prepared to conduct a post-mortem examination, animal rights groups alleged that the zoo bore substantial blame for the bear's untimely death. They said polar bears could live for up to 40 years in the wild.
Wolfgang Apel, the head of Germany's animal protection association, said although polar bears were essentially loners, Knut had been obliged to live with female bears because the zoo had ambitions for him to mate. "Knut was under stress. His short and distressful life shows us yet again that polar bears do not belong in zoos, even if they are called Knut," he said.
The animal rights group Peta accused the zoo of keeping Knut in too small an enclosure and said the bear was predestined to suffer from behavioural abnormalities because he had been raised by a zookeeper. Berlin zoo denied the accusations.
Knut was born in 2006 to a female bear who rejected him at birth. He was hand-raised by his keeper at Berlin zoo. Films were made about him and he appeared on the front cover of Vanity Fair magazine. He earned Berlin zoo about €5m.
More than 15,000 Knut fans have so far paid tribute to him on Berlin zoo's website. Hundreds more have flocked to the zoo in person to lay flowers at his enclosure. "A friend has left us," said Gabrile Thöne, the zoo's business director.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Britain 'faces blackouts' unless green balance improves, leading engineer warns
The top 10 weirdest animal mating rituals
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
A spotter's guide to a wild orchid summer
Sea bass numbers suffer a dramatic decline as overfishing takes its toll
- 1 Stephen Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...
£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...