Who’s cuter?

The whole world has been watching Knut the Polar Bear at the Berlin Zoo since his plight came the world’s attention a few weeks ago when his mother rejected him. And yes, without a doubt this godless, killing machine (per Stephen Colbert) is hella cute.

But is he as cute (or even cuter?) than Seattle’s own abandoned animal? That’s right… Seattle’s zoo has a tiger cub around the same time back in December who was ALSO rejected by his mother. And they’re having a naming contest right now!

The key difference is not how cute each respective fuzzy, baby animal is, I think. The reason Knut, over in Germany, is so widely known is most likely because “Animal Activists” initially suggested that the Berlin zoo should just let the polar bear cub die like it would have in the wild.

Now, although I’m a big fan of animals and love the zoo, I don’t pretend for a second to fully understand the mind of the average person who self-identifies as an “Animal Activist”. And, as might be expected, once the world opinion came down firmly on the side of NOT letting the polar bear just die, the quoted animal activist clarified that he didn’t STILL want the zoo to kill the polar bear now that the bear is a little more capable of taking care of itself.

Jodi and I were talking about this the other day, and I pointed out that if you take the “it’s a polar bear, not a human” argument from the picture, this animal activist’s argument is a bit like suggesting that if you find an abandoned crack baby in a trashbin somewhere (ok, admittedly, an extreme example)… you should just let it be. I don’t buy this argument. Not for a second. And I suspect nobody else does either.

An animal in a zoo is under the protection (and responsibility) of the zoo. I’m glad to read that both the Berlin zoo and the Seattle zoo never for a second seriously considered letting the abandoned cubs die. Whew!

Strange, strange, strange. Note that Polar Bears were recently proposed for inclusion as an Endangered Species.

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