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Amazing Facts: Knut, The Polar Bear II

Amazing Facts: Knut, The Polar Bear II Controversy

In early March 2007, German tabloid Bild-Zeitung carried a quote by animal rights activist Frank Albrecht who said that Knut should have been killed rather than humiliated by being raised "as a domestic pet". He declared that the zoo was violating animal protection legislation by keeping him alive. Wolfram Graf-Rudolf, the director of the Aachen Zoo, agreed with Albrecht and stated that the zookeepers "should have had the courage to let the bear die" after it was rejected, arguing that the bear will "die a little" every time it is separated from its caretaker. A group of children protested at the zoo, holding up placards reading "Knut Must Live" and "We Love Knut", and others sent numerous emails and letters asking for the cub's life to be spared. Threatening letters were also sent to Albrecht. The Berlin Zoo rallied in support of the baby polar bear, vowing not to harm him.

Albrecht, who was not associated with any particular animal rights organization, later claimed that he was quoted out of context: According to Albrecht, he had filed suit against the head of the Leipzig Zoo in December 2006, for killing a sloth bear cub rejected by its mother. The case was dismissed by the courts arguing that raising the animal by humans would have been inappropriate. Albrecht, who opposed that judgment, says he called for Knut's death not because he actually wanted to have the bear killed, but merely to call attention to the Leipzig decision, which would have granted the Berlin Zoo the right to kill the polar bear cub.[14] Most international media, however, relied on Bild-Zeitung's version and reported Albrecht's request to have Knut killed out of context. The publicity from this coverage raised Knut's profile from national to international.

In the spotlight

On 23 March 2007, Knut was presented to the public for the first time. Around 400 journalists visited the Berlin Zoo on what was dubbed "Knut Day" to report on the cub's first public appearance to a worldwide audience. Because Knut became the focus of worldwide media at a very young age, many stories and false alarms regarding the cub's health and well-being were circulated during his first year. For example, on 16 April 2007, Knut was removed from display due to teething pains resulting from the growth of his right upper canine tooth, but initial reports vaguely stated that he was suffering from an unknown illness and subsequently put on antibiotics. Much ado was also made about a death threat that was sent shortly before 15:00 local time on Wednesday 18 April 2007. The zoo had received an anonymous letter by fax which said "Knut ist tot! Donnerstag Mittag." ("Knut is dead! Thursday noon.") In response, the police increased their security measures around the bear. The time frame for the threat passed without incident or harm to Knut.

Despite Der Spiegel reporting on 30 April 2007 that Knut was "steadily getting less cute" as he increased in age, Knut continued to bring in record crowds to the zoo that summer. After reaching seven months old and 50 kg (110 lb) in July of 2007, Knut's scheduled twice daily public appearances were canceled due to the zoo's concern for the safety of his keeper. Zoo spokeswoman Regine Damm also said it was time for the bear to "associate with other bears and not with other people." After living in the same enclosure as Ernst, a Malaysian black bear cub who was born a month before Knut, and its mother, Knut was then moved to his own private living space. While visitor numbers dwindled from extreme highs in March and April, Knut remained a major attraction at the zoo for the rest of 2007. 400,000 guests were recorded in August 2007, which was an all time high.

News of Knut and his life at the zoo was still being reported internationally in late 2007. Knut's restricted diet, necessary to curtail his natural weight gain necessary to survive harsh winters, made headlines outside of Germany. His daily meals were reduced in number from four to three, and treats, such as croissants, which are favored by the young polar bear, were restricted. After hurting his foot while slipping on a wet rock in his enclosure a month later in September, there was an outpouring of concern and support from fans worldwide.


Controversy

In early March 2007, German tabloid Bild-Zeitung carried a quote by animal rights activist Frank Albrecht who said that Knut should have been killed rather than humiliated by being raised "as a domestic pet". He declared that the zoo was violating animal protection legislation by keeping him alive. Wolfram Graf-Rudolf, the director of the Aachen Zoo, agreed with Albrecht and stated that the zookeepers "should have had the courage to let the bear die" after it was rejected, arguing that the bear will "die a little" every time it is separated from its caretaker. A group of children protested at the zoo, holding up placards reading "Knut Must Live" and "We Love Knut", and others sent numerous emails and letters asking for the cub's life to be spared. Threatening letters were also sent to Albrecht. The Berlin Zoo rallied in support of the baby polar bear, vowing not to harm him.

Albrecht, who was not associated with any particular animal rights organization, later claimed that he was quoted out of context: According to Albrecht, he had filed suit against the head of the Leipzig Zoo in December 2006, for killing a sloth bear cub rejected by its mother. The case was dismissed by the courts arguing that raising the animal by humans would have been inappropriate. Albrecht, who opposed that judgment, says he called for Knut's death not because he actually wanted to have the bear killed, but merely to call attention to the Leipzig decision, which would have granted the Berlin Zoo the right to kill the polar bear cub.[14] Most international media, however, relied on Bild-Zeitung's version and reported Albrecht's request to have Knut killed out of context. The publicity from this coverage raised Knut's profile from national to international.

In the spotlight

On 23 March 2007, Knut was presented to the public for the first time. Around 400 journalists visited the Berlin Zoo on what was dubbed "Knut Day" to report on the cub's first public appearance to a worldwide audience. Because Knut became the focus of worldwide media at a very young age, many stories and false alarms regarding the cub's health and well-being were circulated during his first year. For example, on 16 April 2007, Knut was removed from display due to teething pains resulting from the growth of his right upper canine tooth, but initial reports vaguely stated that he was suffering from an unknown illness and subsequently put on antibiotics. Much ado was also made about a death threat that was sent shortly before 15:00 local time on Wednesday 18 April 2007. The zoo had received an anonymous letter by fax which said "Knut ist tot! Donnerstag Mittag." ("Knut is dead! Thursday noon.") In response, the police increased their security measures around the bear. The time frame for the threat passed without incident or harm to Knut.

Despite Der Spiegel reporting on 30 April 2007 that Knut was "steadily getting less cute" as he increased in age, Knut continued to bring in record crowds to the zoo that summer. After reaching seven months old and 50 kg (110 lb) in July of 2007, Knut's scheduled twice daily public appearances were canceled due to the zoo's concern for the safety of his keeper. Zoo spokeswoman Regine Damm also said it was time for the bear to "associate with other bears and not with other people." After living in the same enclosure as Ernst, a Malaysian black bear cub who was born a month before Knut, and its mother, Knut was then moved to his own private living space. While visitor numbers dwindled from extreme highs in March and April, Knut remained a major attraction at the zoo for the rest of 2007. 400,000 guests were recorded in August 2007, which was an all time high.

News of Knut and his life at the zoo was still being reported internationally in late 2007. Knut's restricted diet, necessary to curtail his natural weight gain necessary to survive harsh winters, made headlines outside of Germany. His daily meals were reduced in number from four to three, and treats, such as croissants, which are favored by the young polar bear, were restricted. After hurting his foot while slipping on a wet rock in his enclosure a month later in September, there was an outpouring of concern and support from fans worldwide.

amazing facts, knut, polar bear

amazing facts, knut, polar bear

amazing facts, knut, polar bear

amazing facts, knut, polar bear

amazing facts, knut, polar bear

amazing facts, knut, polar bear

amazing facts, knut, polar bear

amazing facts, knut, polar bear

amazing facts, knut, polar bear

amazing facts, knut, polar bear

amazing facts, knut, polar bear

amazing facts, knut, polar bear

amazing facts, knut, polar bear


Source: kristo_w@xxx.xxx and Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knut_the_polar_bear )

Added by admin October 25, 2008 (12:10AM)

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