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May 02, 2008

Pathos Alert!!!!!

30knut-inline-190.jpgLong suffering Long time readers of VC may remember that many moons ago, the Editorial Staff brought you the story of Knut, the adorable baby polar bear.

Well, the stories of Knut's increasingly embarrassing encounters with bootleg sex tapes, anorexic Czech supermodels, designer drugs, and bad techno music continue to spin out of control, largely thanks to the environmental depredations of an uncaring Bush administration and its inexplicable refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocols. Naturlich, the NY Times laps up every last delicious detail:

Knut the polar bear cub abandoned by his mother was a sensation one year ago, a ball of adorable white fluff that seduced the nation and the world beyond, even landing on the cover of Vanity Fair with Leonardo DiCaprio. But lately, he has been Germany’s problem cub more than its darling.

As the bear has grown from a virtual living stuffed animal into a 350-pound adolescent, newspapers here have taken issue with everything from Knut’s weight to his sexuality, with one paper asking if the bear is gay. But the most enduring question is the one posed by animal-protection groups from the very beginning: how being hand-raised by humans would affect him when he grew up.

When Knut was nuzzling his handler, Thomas Dörflein, to the delight of an adoring public, the objections of outside experts were brushed aside. His antics weren’t bad for business either, bringing in an estimated $8 million in extra revenues for the Berlin Zoo last year.

But times change, cubs grow up and those experts may have been on to something after all. “With Knut, it’s clear that he has imprinted on humans, and when neither his keeper nor visitors are there he cries out,” said Thomas Pietsch, a biologist and expert on wild animals for the animal-welfare group Four Paws in Germany. Peter H. Arras, a zoologist and animal-protection advocate put it more succinctly: “He’s a psychopath addicted to human attention.”

That attention has fallen off significantly. Knut is now too large and too strong to play with Mr. Dörflein. And the largest crowds of spectators have moved south. In the Bavarian city of Nuremberg, a new young cub named Flocke, or Snowflake, claimed the crown of cuteness when she was introduced to the public earlier this month. A third cub in Stuttgart, named Wilbär, is being brought up the old-fashioned way, by his mother.

But the country’s newer star attractions did refocus attention on Knut’s well-being. Andre Schüle, a veterinarian at the Berlin Zoo, dismissed concerns about Knut’s health, physical or mental. “I am very, very pleased about his development,” said Mr. Schüle. Knut is a healthy polar bear, but as a natural result of aging, “the cuteness factor is falling,” Mr. Schüle said.

On a recent sunny afternoon, the number of spectators fluctuated between a dozen and just a pair. The fading star lay with his head on his paws, his fur stained a yellowish brown from rolling around in sand and dirt.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. What is left for our little liebchen but serial appearances on VH1's After the Music, the inevitable round of plastic surgery that precedes the failed comeback attempt and finally, in that most pathetic of admissions that it's finally over, the Nutrisystem endorsement?

We weep.

Poor Knut must share the fate of the MidWestern Corked bat, his beautiful and natural life ruthlessly snuffed out by rampant specieism.

Posted by Cassandra at May 2, 2008 08:22 AM

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Take heart, Knut. There may be an opening soon for a judge on American Idol. You're sober, right?

And Florida holds on to its crown the strangest place in the Western Hemisphere.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 2, 2008 09:47 AM

I would have thought he jumped the snakr, er...shark when he posed with Leo.

My bad.

Posted by: Cricket at May 2, 2008 10:14 AM

The only thing that can save this train wreck of a career is a massive PR blitz.

First, the release of Knut's endorsement of Obama.

Hillary counters with the admission that she narrowly escaped an attack by Bosnian polar bears armed with RPGs.

Al Gore produces a new PowerPoint slide show proving Knut's Fall From Cuteness is directly attributable to his lifelong exposure to anthropogenic Cee-Owe-Two. Knut appears at the Academy Awards ceremony as a co-acceptor of the Oscar for Best Pseudomentary.

Knut announces he has been through rehab for his addiction to raw blubber. Twice.

Oprah plugs his bio, "Bear With Me On This," which vaults to the Top Ten on the NYT Bestseller List overnight.

Jeremiah Wright begins to refer to Knut as "Whitey"...

Posted by: BillT at May 2, 2008 10:15 AM

Wait a minnit...a cub being brought up by its' mother? Does CPS know? Does the state of Texas know? How can this be? We are progressive!

Posted by: Cricket at May 2, 2008 10:15 AM

Vell I tink dat the problem is that the iddy biddy Knut has been raised by girlymen. Und he does not know how to be a manlybeah.

Ve, Franz und myselvf vill take dis girleybeah und make him a manlybeah und den he vill eat doz iddy biddy cuddly baby beah cohruptors und huggahs... PETA-tooie!

Posted by: hans-n-franz at May 2, 2008 10:19 AM

I have an unauthorized bio of Knut called "Bears On Ice." Penned by AlGore under the non de plume of
Alpha Herzog, it details with heartbreaking honesty and painful accuracy how Knut's mother was put on a floe in order to deal with the aging polar bear population. They had to save on social security payments in order to support welfare needs caused by GlowBull Warning.

Posted by: Cricket at May 2, 2008 10:19 AM

Knut on Rehab, Unkabill!?!? I SAY NO-NO-NO.

Being a contrite submissive little cub is definitely not his style. Instead he should dig in his paws, and proudly proclaim his fondness for organically-grown-vegan-blubbered smeared males. That should gain him some points amongst the Greenie-Wienies in Germany.

Posted by: Boquisucio at May 2, 2008 10:30 AM

What did you expect from the Knutster? He was raised in Berlin so, big surprise, he is a metro-bear! Let's hope he doesn't go in for waxing or lipo!

Posted by: vet66 at May 3, 2008 11:26 AM

It were the anorexic Czech supermodels what lured him to his current fate.
It could be worse.
He could be dodging sniper fire in Bosnia.

Posted by: Joatmoaf at May 3, 2008 08:34 PM

It was all that being forced to watch porn.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2008 01:00 AM

Aw, Knuts!

Posted by: camojack at May 5, 2008 01:38 AM