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: Bees able to spot which flowers offer best rewards before landing

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Satellite galaxies put astronomers in a spin

30 minutes ago

An international team of researchers, led by astronomers at the Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg (CNRS/Université de Strasbourg), has studied 380 galaxies and shown that their small satellite galaxies almost always ...

Recommended for you

Classic Lewis Carroll character inspires new ecological model

14 hours ago

Inspired by the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, collaborators from the University of Illinois and National University of Singapore improved a 35-year-old ecology model to better understand how species ...

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.