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A Disaster In The Making — Why Now?
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A Disaster In The Making

John McKay of archy: I don’t get animal rights radicals.

Of course, Cute Overload has video of Knut.

“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…”

Frank Albrecht is out of his mind suggesting: Cuddly polar bear cub better off dead.

Before this is over, Albrecht is going to end up a bloody spot on a middle school playground when a mob led by the Olsen twins beats him up with their Hello Kitty lunch pails. You mess with “cute” at your own risk.


1 Anya { 03.21.07 at 8:05 pm }

The little bear was born in a zoo. He will live his whole life in a zoo. If he is acclimatized to humans in such a situation, it’s a Good Thing.

If he were wild-born, and destined to be released, that would be a different story.

Mr. Albrecht has his head up his ass.

2 Bryan { 03.21.07 at 9:51 pm }

Actually, polar bears in the wild are solitary, so it’s really irrelevant from an interaction point of view. The mother chases the cubs off after they are grown. This cub’s mother was a performing bear in East Germany, which is probably why she rejected the cubs, she didn’t know how to care for them. He is probably several generations away from the Arctic.

It is better to stock zoos with animals from zoos rather than the wild, and better that they are taught that life in a zoo is “normal”. I’ve seen captured animals at the San Diego Zoo, and they have trouble adapting to captivity.

3 jamsodonnell { 03.22.07 at 3:00 am }

It would be great if Knut could eventually be released into the wild to live the sort of life Polar Bears like… But it doesn’t look like that is a realistic prospect. Better to have him and his DNA line to help preserve the species. The propsects for teh Polar Bear do not look rosy

4 Anya { 03.22.07 at 7:42 am }

I recall the polar bear they had in the now-defunct Benson’s Animal Farm in Hudson, NH.

The poor creature was displayed in a cage about the size of my livingroom, with a small pool. He would walk forward, and then back up, forward and back, forward and back all day long. Not a good situation for any animal, much less a bear. Zoo science and technology certainly has come a long way since. Not a perfect situation, but a hell of a lot better than Benson’s.

However, if the Global Climate change deniers have their way, the zoos will be the only place on the planet will be able to survive.

With luck, humans won’t have to join them there…

5 Bryan { 03.22.07 at 11:41 am }

Without a mother to teach him, Knut has no chance in the wild, even if their wild weren’t disappearing at an amazing rate, Jams. Knut can remind us of what we have managed to screw up.

That is pretty much what all carnivores do in captivity, Anya, the relentless pacing without any ability to make that burst of running that is their survival in the wild. Feeding them doesn’t remove their instincts, and Knut will not always be small and cuddly. Soon his play will have major consequences on his playmates, but he will, at least, be comfortable in his confinement, not having known the expanses of the tundra.

6 oldwhitelady { 03.22.07 at 8:40 pm }

I hadn’t heard about it until my boss said something, today. We both were flabberghasted that he could even think to suggest something like that, and he’s an animal rights activist? That is one cute little bear cub.

7 Bryan { 03.22.07 at 9:37 pm }

It’s a sad fact that zoos have to have entertainment value to survive today, and bears cubs are an entertainment winner. What zoo doesn’t want a panda cub? They have a polar bear cub in Berlin, a city with a bear on its civic arms. They would be crazy not to promote it, and the increased ticket sales.

An animal rights activist should realize that it’s much preferable to have orphaned cubs in zoos, than animals born in the wild. There aren’t enough polar bears left that the world can afford to “throw away” a genetically unique individual.