Musings, rants, rambling, general nonsense

R.I.P. Knut

Posted on | March 23, 2011 | No Comments

By now I am sure you have heard the sad news of Knut’s passing. He lived a short but celebrated life, as of this writing, the cause of his death is mostly speculative. A necropsy revealed no obvious issues with his internal organs, but they do suspect potential abnormalities in his brain may have contributed to his demise.

While much is being made of the fact that he lived only 4 years, you must remember how his life began. He was rejected by his mother, a sad event that was attributed to her lack of parenting skills or nurturing or…some failing in her. However, in the wild, mothers often abandon (or kill) offspring that are “not fit”. There are clues that animals recognize that we humans don’t*. Perhaps Knut’s mother, knowing he was destined for a short life, was doing what nature commanded her to do.

That isn’t to say I think the zoo was wrong to save him (unlike so many ‘caring’ animal rights folks who proclaimed loudly that he should be left to die or put down, rather than being hand fed & nurtured by humans) I believe the zookeepers, too, did the right thing – giving him 4 good years of life, giving polar bears an adorable “spokesperson”.

Knut’s mother probably did what her nature demanded, which would be to put him out of his misery if they were living in the wild, fighting for resources, and keeping him out of the gene pool. The Berlin Zoo did what their nature demanded, working to save a beautiful animal in distress.

RIP, Knut. Condolences to all the staff and visitors who have come to care for him over the years.

* My sweet girl, who was born deaf & blind, had excessively white fur around her neck, something I am told denotes defects in that breed – and leads to a doggy mom pushing such a puppy out of her pack, starving it. Obviously, in the wild, being deaf & blind would be a major handicap. In my house, however, it didn’t even slow her down.


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