Saturday, March 19, 2011

R.I.P. Knut

"Baby" Knut died today in his home at a Berlin zoo. No one knows why.

This news hit me hard. The world-famous, adorable polar bear made headlines when he was hand-raised by zoo keepers after being rejected by his mother at birth in December 2006. Bear keeper Heiner Kloes told the Associated Press that Knut "was by himself in his compound, he was in the water, and then he was dead." Kloes added, "He was not sick, we don't know why he died." A post-mortem will be conducted on Monday to try pinpoint his cause of death.

I am extremely sad. This one hit me hard, not only because the little guy captured my heart, but also because the world's love for Knut forced people to think about polar bears and understand the impacts of global warming.

I know that we will see him in heaven. Until then, sweet Knut, we loved you.

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

19 comments:

Sandra said...

I read it on the news, feel sad, he was such a cuty.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Sandra,

I feel like I lost a pet! Such a loss for animal lovers everywhere.

Eileen said...

When I heard the news, I felt so sad. The polar bears need a mascot to rally public sympathy to the peril that they face and, for while, Knut looked to be it. In our quest to manipulate and control our environment, we're doing so much to upset the delicate balance that Mother Nature has been nurturing since time began. How many species must vanish from the face of the earth before we realize that we're next in line? Rest in peace, little guy. You'll be missed.

Clarisse said...

Whant sad news, he was such a symbol and so cute too!
I agree with Eileen too...
He is already missed eveywhere.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen,

I am still crying. That little guy had so many things going against him. I read that the other polar bears still wouldn't accept him. Reminds me of Kirby, an abandoned crow I raised. Kirby didn't make it either, and it makes me cry to this day.

Weird that Knut died on the day of the first super moon in 19 years.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Clarisse, have you heard any details in France? We don't have much info here. Just that the man who raised him had died at age 44, and Knut had been depressed by his absence.

Clarisse said...

No,no more details here either, I have looked everywhere and they just say they don't understand the reasons for his death, he was fine... but he just collapsed suddenly and that was it!We'll know more after to-morrow (post-mortem) and I think they'll tell us, he was so popular over the planet...I'll let you know what we are told.
He had be separated from his human father because he was so big and to teach him to live on his own or with other polar bears...and indeed he had been happily living with an Italian she-bear for 3 years until they realised Ginna was his cousin and could not have babies with him (consanguinity problems) and I read that at the beginning of March they had planned a castration...but I don't know whether the operation has been done or not..

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks. Please do let us know what you hear, Clarisse.

Tx Land For Sale said...

A lot of people were saddened after they heard the news, he's so cute and nowadays polar bears is kinda rare.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi TX Land for Sale,

You're right - polar bears are in trouble. We need to protect their habitat so that they can rebound and thrive.

Knut sure touched a lot of us.

TheKnow said...

Nooo!!! I hadn't heard about this! Poor Knut!

Charlestongirl said...

It's shocking, isn't it, TheKnow? I literally sat and cried.

Clarisse said...

Hi Charlestongirl!
I read last night that after the 1rst analyses it would seem something was wrong with his brain cells....we must wait for the end of the week for all the other results to be published! Poor Knut!

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Clarisse! I knew you would hear something before we did. I had read that observers saw him have a seizure before he died. I wonder...that can be a symptom or a cause.

Clarisse said...

Yes, everywhere you could even watch a terrible video taken by a visitor in the zoo with Knut's last moments: he seemed dizzy, turning on himself and finally falling in the pond of his enclosure among the horrified cries of his admirers....so terribly sad...I
'll let you know the results when they are released at the end of the week.

Charlestongirl said...

Clarisse, I knew that video is out there, but I couldn't watch. I know it would leave me in shambles. I don't want to remember the darling baby that way.

Clarisse said...

Hi Charlestongirl!
The Berlin zoo confirmed the results of the post-mortem:the scans revealed abnormalities in his brain and neurologists said he may have inherited epilepsy from his father who suffered from it too!
His enclosure is now a shrine with hundreds of messages, flowers, candles etc...The zoo has decided Knut will be stuffed and put on display in a museum...It's even sadder to me!

HS: I saw last night on the right side of your page that your twitter messages mentioned a Hermes artisans Festival: if you can, you must GO, Hermes artisans are the BEST of a long tradition of artisans in luxury, they are the last in France (I really enjoyed watching a display a few years ago)

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you, Clarisse.

We have heard nothing on the news. I can't imagine stuffing him. That's disgusting. He deserves a proper burial in a place people can visit, not to be remembered as a stuffed animal.

I would have left flowers if I could.

Poor baby. The seizure must have been a really big one. So sad. I'm fortunate that Savannah recovers from hers. To have the first seizure "seen" by others and die from it is extremely rare. Sometimes, I wonder if mother animals who reject their young "know."

I will try to go see the artisans. It's going to be difficult to get over there because I think they may be closed today. I will try to find out once everyone around here wakes up.

Clarisse said...

Charlestongirl,
I do agree with you about stuffing: it's horrible! They earned visitors and money too when he was alive, why think people will go and see him stuffed in a museum!!!!It's such a shocking lack of respect, I hope someone will make them change their minds about this stupid idea!