More sloth bear cubs at German zoo

8th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

9 January 2007, Leipzig, Germany (dpa) - An official inquiry is under way in Germany into claims that it was a crime to kill an abandoned newborn sloth-bear cub at a zoo after its under-age mother refused to care for it. Two more sloth-bear cubs - the Melursus ursinus species is a native of India and Sri Lanka - have since been born at the same zoo, in Leipzig, and were receiving "tender loving care" from mother Malini, 10, zoo spokeswoman Kathleen Raschke said. However militant bear fans remain bitter tha

9 January 2007

Leipzig, Germany (dpa) - An official inquiry is under way in Germany into claims that it was a crime to kill an abandoned newborn sloth-bear cub at a zoo after its under-age mother refused to care for it.

Two more sloth-bear cubs - the Melursus ursinus species is a native of India and Sri Lanka - have since been born at the same zoo, in Leipzig, and were receiving "tender loving care" from mother Malini, 10, zoo spokeswoman Kathleen Raschke said.

However militant bear fans remain bitter that intensive care was not provided last month to the litter of a different Leipzig bear, Renate, 2. Some saw parallels to the shooting six months ago of Germany's only wild brown bear, a rampaging beast named Bruno.

Too young for motherhood, Renate walked away after giving birth to two cubs on Christmas Day. One died of exposure and vets put the second out of misery with an injection, saying the 2-day-old infant could never become a normal bear if it were hand-raised by humans.

Some 20 people complained to Leipzig public prosecutors, who opened an inquiry at the end of December and said Monday this was continuing. The zoo has sent a detailed explanation of its actions to the prosecutors and Germany's society for animal welfare in Bonn.

The eastern German zoo said the decision by a committee to destroy the cub last month was in line with international animal care guidelines, since it was already near death and abandoned cubs commonly suffered respiratory and intestinal infections.

Raschke said keepers were leaving more maternal Malini and her cubs to themselves, but watching the den by closed-circuit TV.

DPA

Subject: German news

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