Knut Is Disturbed, Having Panic Attacks

Polar bear is imitating tourists, acting abnormally

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 18, 2010 9:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – World-famous polar bear Knut is suffering panic attacks thanks to his life in captivity, say scientists…PETA scientists, that is. Knut and Gianna, his companion at the Berlin Zoo, “are definitely displaying behavioral problems,” one researcher tells AFP. Among his apparent issues: Panic attacks, swaying to and fro, and imitating picture-taking tourists by taking pictures with his paws.

PETA adds that many captive polar bears show similar signs; birth rates are falling, and so is life expectancy. The agency “therefore calls for an immediate halt to breeding and in the long term, an end to keeping polar bears in Germany.” A rep from the zoo calls the claims “ridiculous.” As for how Knut feels? Well, remember, PETA did recently call for him to be castrated

Polar bear Knut eats his birthday presents in his outdoor enclosure in the zoo in Berlin, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Knut received an ice cake decorated with fish for his 3rd birthday.
Polar bear Knut eats his birthday presents in his outdoor enclosure in the zoo in Berlin, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Knut received an ice cake decorated with fish for his 3rd birthday.   (AP Photo/Franka Bruns)
Polar bear Knut eats his birthday presents in his outdoor enclosure in the zoo in Berlin, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Knut received an ice cake decorated with fish for his 3rd birthday.
Polar bear Knut eats his birthday presents in his outdoor enclosure in the zoo in Berlin, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Knut received an ice cake decorated with fish for his 3rd birthday.   (AP Photo/Franka Bruns)
Polar bear Knut is seen as he plays in the water in his enclosure, Friday Sept. 4, 2009, in Berlin. Knut will soon be joined by a female companion from the Munich zoo.
Polar bear Knut is seen as he plays in the water in his enclosure, Friday Sept. 4, 2009, in Berlin. Knut will soon be joined by a female companion from the Munich zoo.   (AP Photo/Maya Hitij)
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