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Knut fans protest his stuffing
Demonstrators in front of Berlin Zoo. Photo: DPA

Knut fans protest his stuffing

Published: 03 Apr 2011 10:16 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Apr 2011 10:16 GMT+02:00

Around 50 fans of Berlin’s dead polar bear Knut protested outside the capital’s zoo on Saturday in an attempt to halt plans to stuff his body and put it on display.

The small group lit remembrance candles and decorated the zoo’s external fence with flowers and home-made cards and placards with photos of the bear and slogans calling for his body to be buried.

Some even released white balloons to signal their protest. “Our primary aim is to hinder the stuffing of Knut,” said Jochen Kolbe, one of the organisers.

He said Knut had not "deserved" such treatment. Others at the demonstration claimed they had realised for weeks before his death two weeks ago that he was not well.

Christina Keuk said she could not understand why the zoo authorities had not intervened and added that Knut had not got on well with the three other polar bears at the zoo, Tosca, Nancy and Katjuscha. “Any visitor could see that,” she said.

She said she had regularly visited the zoo in the last four years since Knut was born and raised by hand, becoming a huge attraction. “I will never enter this zoo again,” she said.

Many of the demonstrators held zoo director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz personally responsible, with one placard bearing the words, “Herr Blaszkiewitz, you are a joke, stuff your heart and brain.”

The bear died on March 19 after what an autopsy showed was a virus infection and severe inflammation of the brain. The zoo intends to preserve his body and put it on display.

DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:44 April 3, 2011 by snowflake
I'm no fan of stuffing animals, but:

"The small group lit remembrance candles and decorated the zoo¦#39;s external fence with flowers and home-made cards and placards with photos of the bear and slogans calling for his body to be buried."

Candles? Flowers? Seriously? How about going vegetarian if you are so moved?
11:48 April 3, 2011 by pepsionice
If you had suggested a year ago that Knut would pass on and he'd be stuffed and put into some city showroom....folks would have laughed you out of the room. So here we are, and that has been the suggested conclusion.

My suggestion....if they want to stuff him.....go for it, and put him into some corner of the zoo where you can charge folks a Euro to see the stuffed Knut. If you want to make a circus....then make it a four-star circus.
14:32 April 3, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
really, people?? Fukushima has blown up, German soldiers are dying in Afghanistan, there's war in Libya, the whole continent is still reeling from the financial crisis, and you are worried about some animal carcass being taken to the taxidermist's??

To quote "Hitchhiker's Guide": Apathetic bloody planet. I have no sympathy at all.
15:04 April 3, 2011 by Slimtots
I agree. This is just nonsense. The cute Knut is dead. There are other major issues to worry about without protesting what will be done with the polar bear's body
17:01 April 3, 2011 by catjones
iseedaftpeople...guess what, some people have the mental bandwidth to be concerned about more than one issue at a time.
17:24 April 3, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
08:18 April 4, 2011 by wood artist
@way2cool

These folks are not stupid. They may have a different opinion than you, but everybody is free to see things differently. They "protested" politely and non-violently, and expressed their opinion. They may or may not be in tune with the most popular opinion, but they're entitled to have one of their own.

If you don't agree, that's fine, but don't resort to personal insults in doing so.

wa
01:08 April 5, 2011 by Dale-Lee
I've been watching Knut's story from across the world, in Canada. There are many tragedies in the world, great and small. The loss of Papa Thomas and Knut is indeed a loss in a world that has grown so callous.

I'm glad these people showed their disapproval of what the zoo wants to do to Knut's body. He deserved better. Knut gave so many so much joy and escapism from a world of hate and anger... I wished I could have been there with you all...
22:36 April 8, 2011 by canada-30-
it seems as though the right thing to do would be:

2) go north

3) return the hide to people who will use it, like the Inuít

1) study the organs for research of course is already been and being done

4) leave the rest to the arctic, where Knut's DNA will be distributed among the birds and fish and small mammals that he would have been eating, had he been free born and lived in his habitat

perhaps these things have already been done, with all the info overload, still they don't tell us anything
13:15 April 12, 2011 by uhusuha
There is a major difference between most animals and the human race... we do the best we can to distroy the environment for the sake of profit. The poor animals just happen to be in the way when we take away their natural habitat. So yes, I have now come to the opinion that animals are to be pittied more than human beings. We claim to be superior, yet we do not learn from past mistakes...

@ iseedaftpeople: If you think displaying deceased animals is so wonderful, have you already written your will and left your body to Körperwelten?
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