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
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)
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(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
(Read more Knut stories.)

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