After the sudden death of Knut the world’s most famous polar bear at the Berlin Zoo last month, protesters have reportedly turned the entrance of the zoo into a shrine of remembrance to Knut.
Officials have announced a plan to stuff Knut and place him on display at the Berlin Natural History Museum, which has angered fans.
The leader of the rising campaign to stop the polar bear from being stuffed has been quoted as saying, “Knut simply does not deserve this fate”. Protesters have labeled the plan to have the polar bear stuffed as tasteless and degrading.
The director of the Berlin Zoo is said to have come up with the idea, and was originally part of the media phenomenon that turned Knut into a celebrity. The bear also earned the zoo millions in extra visitors and euros.
Protests by a group of children at the zoo, and many emails and letters sent asking that Knut’s life be saved, after he was rejected by his mother, started the bear on the path to worldwide fame. At the time, it was asserted by some that it would be kinder to put Knut down rather than to keep him at the zoo.
The Berlin Zoo decided to look after Knut, rejecting the assertion that it would be kinder to put him down. The controversy meant that Knut’s plight become an international media story, and “Knutmania” began. However, Knut only lived to be 4 years of age and died of a brain seizure last month (Warning: actual video of Knut’s death, taken by a zoo visitor).
The zoo director, Berhard Blaszkiewitz, has been quoted as saying, “The problem is that people take their human feelings and put them into animals,”, and “After Knut’s death there were all these overwhelming emotions. That’s OK for humans, but in my opinion it is not OK for animals. This is just a polar bear, a special polar bear, but a polar bear all the same.”
What do you think about this? Is the Zoo’s plan to have Knut stuffed and put in a museum tasteless, or okay?
Via The Independent