BOOK REVIEW: Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated The World

Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated The World

Knut, the polar bear cub who spawned a million chain emails, is the cuddly subject of this offering from the authors of Owen & Mzee.

The world-famous cub was born at the Berlin Zoo in December 2006. After his mother refused to care for him, he was put in the 24-hour-care of zookeeper Thomas Dörflein, who raised him much as one would a human infant. It’s here that the text gets a little dishonest. Wild animal mothers don’t always know how to take care of their babies, the book reads. While it’s true that this seems to be a phenomenon among wild animals in captivity, it doesn’t appear to be as common in their natural states.

Of course, any discussion of Knut will include the controversy surrounding the supposed calls for his euthanasia. Thankfully, this book gets the story straight. A newspaper reported one man’s comments that Knut should not have been rescued. … News of the man’s statement and the public’s strong reaction against it quickly spread around the world, the text reads. It was, indeed a single person who made the statements, and he was not speaking for any particular group. Unfortunately, the statement was used to tar animal rights advocates in general, with one shrill politician even trying to tie the statements to American animal organizations.

The authors make the perhaps over-optimistic statement that Knut will inspire his fans to fight global warming and other environmental threats to polar bears. To that end, the book offers some simple eco-friendly suggestions at the end of the story.

(review originally appeared at


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Millard Sistek
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 21:43:32

    WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..extra wait .. ?


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