Mar 28, 2011

News on Knut

According to doctors, Knut died of an epileptic fit. An autopsy or necropsy was performed, and a cat scan showed abnormalities in his brain. Zoo staff and neurologists have confirmed that Knut suffered from the disease, likely inherited from his father, Lars.

Knut was hand-raised by zoo staff after his mother rejected him and his twin, who later died.. The cub became an overnight sensation in Berlin and around the world.
The first public appearance of Knut attracted camera crews from everywhere.
As he grew, animal welfare groups worried all the attention was causing him to behave abnormally.
He would sway to and fro, and imitate fans taking photos by lifting a paw to his face.

I am wondering now if this was a sign that something was not right with him physically, and maybe he was experiencing small fits, lifting his paw to his head in pain, swaying to and fro? It seems quite obvious this is the case. He was not alone in the enclosure as well, but lived with two other female bears. So it's not like he didn't KNOW how to be a bear..

I am also wondering if this is why the mother rejected her cubs in the first place. Animals have the ability to detect disease in others. They even have dogs that can detect an oncomming epileptic fit in their owners. I know it sounds cruel to humans but in the wild it is survival of the fittest and maybe their mother was just acting on instinct.

A crown of 600 or more people witnessed Knuts final moments, gasping in horror as the polar bear plunged into the water. One visitors home video has now been released and I have watched it. It is a very distressing thing to watch and I don't recommend it. 
It is sad that he didn't live out his life to his fullest potential.


  1. @Loach I know :( felt I should update people who were interested though.

  2. I also wondered why the mother rejected her babies. She must have instinctively known something was wrong. Thanks for the update but I won't be watching the video.....I'd have a hard time getting the images out of my head.

  3. It's so sad that things like these occur. I'm surprised the footage was uploaded at all...Hmm....
    Poor Knut :(

  4. Sprite, I'm relieved that it was epilepsy. Seizures don't hurt. It's strange that they didn't notice before, he could have been treated with meds. The paw may have been just behavior or the flashes bothered him.
    I didn't want to say it before, but hand-raised wildlife often has problems, because they lack the proper milk. Took them a long time to figure out what Pandas needed.
    Won't be watching that video, don't want that image.

  5. @Ruth people will upload anything these days.
    @Poetess I agree
    @Ant I guess if he wasnt displaying any symptoms then they would have had no reason to give him a thorough check over.
    @Paul Me to.

  6. I really appreciate how much you care about all life. Sweet.

  7. @dbs nawww.. thankyou! (warm and mushy now)

  8. I'm pleased to me you little sprite. This sounds like such a a sad event,but I agree with you, a case perhaps of survival of the fittest, the law of the wild.

  9. @Elisabeth Hi and nice to meet you to. It appears to be so.

    @Ant, he did didn't he :)

  10. Oh, that is so sad. Poor little baby bear. :( He'll never be forgotten.


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