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Castrate Knut, say animal rights activists

AFP · 3 Mar 2010, 09:16

Published: 03 Mar 2010 09:16 GMT+01:00

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The three-year-old darling of Berlin Zoo was given a female companion, Giovanna, last year but the German chapter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) warned against their mating.

The group's zoo expert, Frank Albrecht, noted that Knut and Giovanna, known as Gianna for short, had the same grandfather.

Any offspring would threaten the genetic diversity of the polar bear population in Germany and risk susceptibility to a condition known as "incest depression", he said.

"Knut fans need to know that only Knut's castration would allow a long life together with Giovanna," Albrecht said in a statement.

Gianna had lived in Munich but was placed with the strapping Knut in Berlin due to construction work on her own den.

After chilly introductions, the two have gradually grown quite close. The housing arrangement, however, was initially intended to be temporary.

Knut drew an outpouring of sympathy around the globe after his mother cast him out as a cuddly cub.

Story continues below…

The cult of Knut spread around the world and his first public appearance attracted some 500 reporters, including around 100 camera crews.

At the height of his fame, Knut featured on the front page of a host of glossy magazines, including Vanity Fair.

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Your comments about this article

10:02 March 3, 2010 by dcgi
Nice, so the poor little bugger gets his bits chopped off because someone thought it a good idea to put 2 related polar bears together.. what did you think they were going to want to eventually do?

I'm sure if Knut understood what was going to happen he'd choose keeping his dangly bits over the broad.
10:47 March 3, 2010 by bonivaglia
Incest between cousins? That doesn't exist between humans, let alone animals!
10:59 March 3, 2010 by design
INcest, Inbreeding? how is that diffrent than some of the human bavarians?
12:16 March 3, 2010 by nedmesis
Inbreeding isn't the problem but overpopulation might be. The risk for genetic defects in the offspring is small.
12:34 March 3, 2010 by The-ex-pat
It's all bollox. lol

PETA.......People Eating Taste Animals.
13:32 March 3, 2010 by piper1
18:34 March 3, 2010 by michael4096
@Owain - I agree with almost all you say, but there is still one good reason for zoos

future environmental work will depend heavily on the children of today feeling an attachment to today's zoo's inhabitants. Video won't cut it. Tomorrow's activists are the kids walking around the zoos today, not those watching television
20:22 March 3, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Forget kneutering Knut. This castration experiment should be tried in Appalachia and the Ozarks first. That would increase the collective American IQ by several percentage points in the next generation.
03:43 March 4, 2010 by Davey-jo
So it's cuts to Knut's nuts.

Why don't you stop calling him a Polar Bear and call him a toy that you want play with and alter to fit your pleasure.Then , maybe you can do what you obviously want to. Perhaps you should have shot him at birth; would have been less demeaning to all concerned.
00:54 March 5, 2010 by maxbrando
Castrate Knut bvy all means, so he can join the rest of you German eunuchs.
06:24 March 6, 2010 by Frantz
Remember when they wanted Knut killed because he would never be normal and could never relate to other bears? He seems to be happy with Giovanna. I personally do not like animals in captivity especially large animals like elephants, whales or dolphins.
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