Monday, March 21, 2011

Oh Knut, sweet Knut!

It has been entirely too long since I've written. My schedule has been insane, I've been sick twice (and I'm rarely ever sick), and I've just felt a lack of inspiration - whether due to the previous causes, or for another reason entirely, it doesn't matter.

But I bring to you now sad tidings.

Knut, the baby polar bear who captured the world's heart in 2006, died today. He was only four years old. Causes are so far unknown, though results should be available tomorrow or Wednesday. If you don't remember, Knut was born in 2006 at a zoo in Germany. His mother refused to nurse him or take care of him, so his handler, Thomas Dorflein cared from him day and night. Because of Thomas' care, Knut survived - and thrived! And kept growing bigger and bigger.

But yesterday, he collapsed suddenly after turning circles in his habitat, and fell into the deep pond in his enclosure.

We haven't had the best news so far this year - and this - just makes it ten times worse. I'm really, really saddened by Knut's sudden death. Thomas his handler passed away in 2008. Part of me was glad to read that. I couldn't begin to imagine the heartache that would come with raising such a beautiful animal from infancy, only to be snatched away so soon, and seemingly without cause. Polar bears typically live to be 15-20 years old in the wild, and even longer in captivity.

I like to think that Knut and Thomas are now reunited somewhere cold, frolicking in snow and reveling in the joy of being together again.

And so to Knut and Thomas, I bless and salute you for adding even a small margin of light into this increasingly dark world.