See him kiss his “foster-father”. See him get his head stuck in a towel. See him wave his paws at the camera. Could anything be swe-e-e-e-eeter?
Whoever is putting these videos together isn’t missing a trick, and Knut is genuinely as cute as a button.
Worryingly though, I can follow the logic of those who say that he should be put down. At the moment he is roughly the size of the Andrex Puppy and because he is younger he is even sweeter. However polar bears are not labradors, and he’ll grow up into one of the world’s largest living carnivores. Now, I’m not sure how wise it is to take actions which will result in half a tonne of poorly socialised and un-castrated carnivore living in captivity. Maybe the Germans are raising Knut as an answer to Trident. These are creatures which will attack a Nuclear Submarine:
No, I do not think it is appropriate to just kill him simply because he’ll end up insane and possibly violent, with Species Identity Disorder (or whatever the term might be), but neither is it appropriate to anthropomorphise him into a cuddly toy. You, I, and the others who think he’s cute aren’t the ones who’ll be taking the risks involved in caring for him and keeping him safe and as sane as possible for the next 40 years. Anthropomorphising polar bears is what led to the situation in the first place: his mother was a circus bear, but she rejected him. Presumably she was worried about how breast-feeding would affect her figure in a tutu. Babe has a lot to answer for.
As a postscript to this, my grandfather was returning to the UK from India some time before the First World War. He was given custody of a bear-cub half-a-tadlet older than Knut here to take it to London Zoo. But how to feed it? In the end, they ordered a bucket of porridge several times a day and dunked the bear in the porridge, took it out and let it lick itself clean. I guess we’ve come on a way in how we treat animals since then… Of course we have.