Knut Should be Castrated, Animal Rights Group Says

PETA demanded the Berlin Zoo polar bear be castrated with fears of inbreeding.

ByABC News
March 3, 2010, 5:23 AM

March 3, 2010 -- Knut the celebrity polar bear has been through a lot in his young life. First he was abandoned by his mother. Then animal rights campaigners reportedly called for him to be put down rather than face an unnatural childhood being hand-reared.

By the time he was three months old, he faced the stresses of global superstardom as hundreds of thousands of fans queued up to see him play with his keeper, Thomas Dörflein, and camera crews from around the world covered his every move.

Then came the loss of fame as he grew and became steadily less cute. As if that weren't painful enough, the man who raised him, Berlin zookeeper Thomas Dörflein, died in 2008, and rumors abounded that the young bear would be moved away from his home in Berlin to some unknown, unfamiliar location.

Things finally started looking up again last year for Knut, when he was introduced to a female companion , Giovanna, a tempestuous polar bear brought over from the Munich Zoo while her enclosure there was being renovated.

Knut seemed to have found an equilibrium, a bit of peace, away from the media spotlight, and in the company of a furry friend of his own species.

And now this. The animal rights group PETA has demanded that he be castrated. The zoo expert of PETA's German operation, Frank Albrecht, said on Tuesday that Giovanna and Knut had the same grandfather and that they would be inbreeding if they produced offspring.