Saturday, March 26, 2011

Please Leave the Dead Bear Alone

It has been a week since Knut the polar bear passed away suddenly in front of horrified zoo visitors. But the cause has yet to be confirmed.

Knut the German Polar Bear

Knut’s short life (only four years) had been wrecked with controversy since his birth, and so it is not unexpected that greater waves of controversy have erupted since his death. All this has brought zoos under severe public scrutiny, with huge uproars over the cheap exploitation and poor welfare of the captive animals.

Baby Knut with his Keeper, Thomas Dörflein

The Berlin Zoo isn’t helping matters. Not with their announcement of their intention to stuff the bear for public display with the flimsy excuse that it would allow Knut’s fans more time to say their goodbyes to him. Many are outraged, and rightly so. This is clearly a distasteful exploitation of the public’s love for the polar bear to earn the zoo more profits.

At such a time, the Berlin Zoo needs to be sensitive towards the feelings of the public and to handle such an emotional affair with delicacy, respect and class. I understand the zoo's need to keep the money coming in, but to be so obviously money-driven at such a time is being myopic. If the Berlin Zoo does go ahead with the taxidermy, it will be a PR disaster for all zoos and more so for the ones that are doing good work in conservation and welfare.

So I say to the Berlin Zoo, please leave Knut’s body alone. Rather than taxidermy, why not set up a gallery of his films and photos? That would be enough for fans to pay tribute to the polar bear they have already given their hearts to.

You will be missed, dear Knut

~5-Cat Style

*Update: Neurologists have confirmed that Knut suffered an epileptic fit that then caused him to fall into the pool and drown. They suspect that his father may have passed on a brain disorder to him. What that brain disorder is has yet to be determined.


ABBY said...



Cheysuli and gemini said...

I think the photos and film would be much more tasteful.

T said...

I COULDN"T AGREE MORE! I created a FB page titled "DON"T STUFF KNUT" please join and share with your friends THANK YOU!!/pages/Dont-Stuff-Knut/163407617047684

Sweet Praline said...

I agree!

Au and Target said...

Ew how horrible!!!

♥I am Holly♥ said...

That is so very sad and I agree with you totally...leave Knut alone and let his sweet memories be the only thing to be kept alive. Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

A few Good Cats said...

It is really sad and disappointing to hear the zookeeper's plans for Knut's body.