Knut: The Unkindest Cut of All

Although the fascinating story of the celebrity polar bear named Knut, resident in the Berlin Zoo, got its start together with the animal himself back during the period that this weblog was taking a multi-year break, we’ve tried to cover subsequent developments of interest concerning this media star who has been visited more than 9 million times, been the object of affectionate comments from high German government officials ranging up to the Bundeskanzlerin herself, and has even featured on a postage-stamp.

The latest Knut developments have unfortunately taken a somewhat bizarre turn, verging on the gothic. As might be expected, there’s a woman involved. Her name is Giovanna, Gianna for short, and she was introduced into Knut’s cage-complex a while back to provide him with a little companionship – and, in particular, to further the fond hope that the two might do some great things together tending towards an enlargement of the stock of polar bears held in captivity. Giovanna, though, revealed a nasty streak in an incident reported by the Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel a month ago, when a cormorant (a seabird) found its way into Berlin’s polar bear compound and Giovanna gave it a hit with her paw that left it wounded. Then again, perhaps she was merely defending her man: that same report states that the bird first had “pinched” (gezwickt) Knut’s nose.

Anyway, by that point it was clear that Giovanna was no shrinking violet. Now the German news-magazine Focus is reporting that she is also Knut’s cousin – the two share the same grandfather! Suddenly the thought of those two bearing some polar-bear cubs is no longer so desirable. This from PETA Deutschland spokesman Frank Albrecht: “Knut fans should be aware that only Knut’s castration will allow a lengthy life together with Gianna. All other hopes and desires bring the population of polar bears in captivity even faster to the end that is pre-programmed for them anyway.” This from an organization that is supposed to have Knut’s happiness at heart! (As you may gather, PETA Deutschland advocates simply not holding any polar bears in captivity, at all.)

She was set to be his lover – but she is also his cousin! And now he risks castration! I remarked before on these pages how interest in Knut (and the money resulting from it) understandably started to wane once he stopped being a cute baby polar bear and became a somewhat slovenly-looking teenage one – did Berlin Zoo officials go off in search of a publicist to tell them how to resuscitate interest in Knut and wind up with Tennessee Williams?

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Comments are closed.