Knut (polar bear)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Knut (IPA: [knʊ:t (c'noot)]) the polar bear was born at the Zoologischer Garten Berlin on 5 December 2006. He was rejected by his mother at birth, and as such, is being raised on a diet of chicken purée.
After the unproblematic gestation time of the 20-year old polar bear Tosca, Knut and his brother were born on 5 December 2006. He was the first polar bear birth at the Berlin Zoo in over thirty years. Tosca, who is a former circus performer, rejected Knut and his brother. After four days, the brother died and Knut was separated from his mother. He spent the first 44 days of his life in an incubator.
Some animal rights activists argued that Knut should have been given a lethal injection rather than brought up suffering the humiliation of being treated as a domestic pet. "The zoo must kill the bear," said animal rights spokesman Frank Albrecht. "Feeding by hand is not species-appropriate but a gross violation of animal protection laws."
The German Environment Minister, Sigmar Gabriel adopted Knut officially. The polar bear is now seen as a symbol for species endangered by global climate change. Knut will be the mascot animal for a conference on endangered species in 2008 held in Bonn.