A Swiss zoo kills a bear cub after he was bullied by his father. In a shocking report drawing outrage from animal rights groups, KMOV.com reports that Dahlholzli Zoo in the Swiss city of Bern chose to put down the baby bear, Cub 4, because his father was bullying him and had already killed his brother, Cub 3. The father, Misha, mauled Cub 3 in April and began showing the same aggression towards Cub 4, so he was put down to spare him the same fate (he’s pictured in the photo above).
The cubs’ mother, Masha, never defended her young because she rejected them both. Adding to this cruelty, the zoo insisted on keeping all four in the same enclosure even though they were aware of the danger the cubs were in.
In a media release from the zoo, they originally decided not to “interfere” with the bears’ “natural behavior.” However, when it came to their attention that Cub 4 was being pushed around by his father, they figured it was more humane to kill him.
What’s also drawing fire is the fact that cub 4’s remains were deep-frozen and will now be stuffed by a taxidermist in order to become and educational piece for children.
Following the highly controversial decision that the zoo made, they were flooded with angry letters. Sara Wehrli, head of the Wild Animal Department of Swiss Animal Protection, says the zoo acted “irresponsibly” caring for the bears. She blasts the zoo:
“Bears are loners and need room, and in zoos, there are already too many brown bears. Letting the two get pregnant was wrong. You can’t leave wild animals in captivity to ‘nature.’
“Whoever keeps them must take responsibility for them.”
A zoo isn’t a “natural” environment for bears to begin with.
When Cub 4 is put on display, the zoo will include his story about how he came to be a stuffed animal. New Zealand Herald reports Doris Slezak, head of the Dahlholzli Zoo, defends the idea:
“Nature can be very cruel and that’s something we want to show kids. We think that it’s right that this bear still has a function after his death, and it will help people to understand nature.”
Earlier this year, a similar incident occurred with a giraffe. When Denmark’s Copenhagen Zoo killed young male giraffe named Marius so they could feed him to four lions, it sparked international outrage. They shot the giraffe in front of zoo visitors before the animal was dismembered and fed to the lions. Inquisitr wrote about the upsetting event.
Cubs 3 and 4 suffered from their parents’ rejection. Mothers protect their cubs from other bears in the wild, but in this instance, she neglected her young. These kills might have very well been prevented under different circumstances, but the zoo believes “massive behavioral disorders” would have ensued had they not put down Cub 4.
Due to the large amount of criticism, the zoo killed the cubs has sterilized Misha so he can’t reproduce anymore cubs.
[Image via KMOV.com]