Apr 09 2014

Baby Bear Cub Euthanized To Escape Father’s Torment

Much controversy has stemmed this year from the culling of animals in zoos this year. First a young giraffe was put down in a zoo in Copenhagen, then some lions, and now in Switzerland, a young bear cub was just euthanized.

baby bear

In 2009, a pair of brown bears named Misha and Masha were gifted to Dahlholzi Zoo by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev. In early 2014, Misha gave birth to two cubs, which were left unnamed. Both of the cubs are no longer living. Earlier this month, the father bear, Masha, tormented, mauled and eventually ended the life of one of his own cubs, which resulted in the zoo’s decision to euthanize the other bear cub.


The fact that these bears are not in their natural habitat will sometimes cause them to misbehave, act strangely, or not fulfill their duties. In nature, it is the mother bear’s duty to protect her young against those that may attack, which can sometimes be the father. Misha rejected her responsibility of serving as a protector to her cubs and did nothing while one of her cubs was killed. This was not necessarily surprising, considering these bears are held in captivity. Sometimes the mother herself will even kill her cubs when in captivity.

cub and father

Since Masha had already killed one of the cubs, was getting aggressive towards the other, and that Misha was not doing anything to prevent it, the zoo came to the difficult decision of euthanizing the bear. If they had left it alive in the same small habitat with its father, it would have eventually been ripped apart by him. Animal activists protest that they could have sent him somewhere else, or made a separate cage for the cub within the habitat. The life of the bears in the zoo is restrained enough. The zoo claimed that it would have been far crueler to place the young cub in such strict isolation.