(Bi)Polar Bear

Everyone wants to know what killed Knut (the famous polar bear cub in Germany who died last week). Seems that it was something neurological but I haven’t seen anything convincing yet. PETA is saying stress. Certainly we know that chronic stress causes neurological damage (hello, Robert Sapolsky). But I don’t know enough about the autopsy results to say anything educated here. What I do know is that there is mounting concern over what will happen to him now. The zoo put up a memorial website where people can leave messages. But recently unveiled plans to stuff and mount Knut have caused an outcry and there are already Facebook groups like “Don’t Stuff Knut.” One poster said “We don’t wanna look at a Knut doll with empty soul!!!!” This seems to be the consensus.

Knut reminds me of Gus. Though they don’t really have anything in common except that they are both polar bears and they both live in zoos and they are both famous. Gus lives in Central Park. He has had his own psychiatrist. He has been on Prozac. He is supposedly doing better.

A while ago The Tragically Hip wrote a song about him. The lyrics are amazing.

What’s troubling Gus? Is it nothing goes quiet?
Is that what’s troubling ya Gus the mere mention of the name
used to be enough to make every bird stop singing?
Is that what’s troubling ya Gus? No is afraid enough?

Here’s an older, yet still very interesting article on Gus.

I am also somewhat overwhelmed by the prevalence of polar bear cartoons about mental health. It is, apparently, an irresistible pun.

One Comment on “(Bi)Polar Bear

  1. I viewed the video on the web taken by the tourist. And if I got the full view, I am putting my money on a thromboembolic episode.

    Thromboembolic disease is a condition in which a blood vessel is obstructed by an embolus carried in the bloodstream from the site of formation. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a part of the umbrella term thromboembolic disease. It refers to two conditions: deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and its potentially fatal acute complication, pulmonary embolism (PE). from http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/products/prescription_medicines/thromboembolic_diseases.html

    Cardiovascular collapse or failure can look like neuro in the final stage. Hopefully the results from the necropsy will be forthcoming. Mel

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