Zoo polar bear cubs left to nature's fate

Jan 06, 2008

Three polar bear cubs at a German zoo were at risk of starvation after being rejected by their mother.

Keepers at the Nuremberg Zoo decided not to intervene and feed the cubs since it would be a manipulation of nature.

The deputy director of the zoo, Helmut Maegdefrau, told the British newspaper The Observer they were "cautiously optimistic" the mother bear would catch on and eventually start caring for her offspring.

"We expect to be branded as being cruel to animals," he said. "But the fact is in nature, if something goes wrong, it goes wrong. If you don't let the mothers practice, they'll never learn how to bring up their cubs."

The zoo has said it was determined not to create a sensation such as the one surrounding Knut, the popular polar bear cub rescued from similar unfortunate circumstances at the zoo in Berlin.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Insect mating behavior has lessons for drones

Related Stories

EPA says first day of oil spill spent 'planning'

4 hours ago

On the afternoon of the largest coastal oil spill in California in 25 years, graduate student Natalie Phares quickly organized a volunteer bucket brigade to clean a beach north of Santa Barbara.

Insect mating behavior has lessons for drones

4 hours ago

Male moths locate females by navigating along the latter's pheromone (odor) plume, often flying hundreds of meters to do so. Two strategies are involved to accomplish this: males must find the outer envelope ...

Recommended for you

Insect mating behavior has lessons for drones

4 hours ago

Male moths locate females by navigating along the latter's pheromone (odor) plume, often flying hundreds of meters to do so. Two strategies are involved to accomplish this: males must find the outer envelope ...

Bacterial tenants in fungal quarters

14 hours ago

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich researchers have sequenced the genome of a bacterial symbiont hosted by a mycorrhizal fungus. Analysis of the symbiont's genetic endowment reveals previously unknown ...

Natural enzyme examined as antibiotics alternative

17 hours ago

In 1921, Alexander Fleming discovered the antimicrobial powers of the enzyme lysozyme after observing diminished bacterial growth in a Petri dish where a drop from his runny nose had fallen. The famed Scottish ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

MarkG
5 / 5 (1) Jan 06, 2008
Is this liberal hypocrisy the "New" morality? Sorry folks but if you take or keep ANYTHING in captivity you have a moral obligation to that creatures well being. I normally don't put much stock in animal welfare organizations but look forward to their intervention in this matter.

Helmut Maegdefrau, I think the world would be better served if you found another line of work....
gonzoxxx
5 / 5 (1) Jan 08, 2008
This whole issue is just ridiculous. Their argument is absurd, polar bears do not belong in Germany, much less in an enclosed, artificial, non natural environment. The polar bears were placed there by humans in the first place, evidently, it is their moral duty to foster and care for these animals in the best way possible. This is pure abandonment and in my view it is a crime.

They did this in hopes to avoid the furor caused by the Knut incident at the Berlin Zoo. However, I fear that the way they chose to deal with this has actually created a much serious quagmire for themselves which, sadly, may result in the unfair death of some of the most endangered animals on earth. This Zoo is clearly being run by a group imbeciles, there needs to be some accountability and I hope that justice is served.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.