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Bald bears
November 22, 2009 12:16 AM   Subscribe

You think you have a problem with baldness? Check out the bears in the Leipzig Zoo.
posted by Chocolate Pickle (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Spectacled bears look like dogs that have bred with apes that have bred with racoons. In other words, they look cool as hell. I hope these spectacled bears at the Leipzieg Zoo aren't suffering physically or emotionally, and I hope those keepers can figure out how to get that hair back on them, and soon.
posted by Kronoss at 12:27 AM on November 22, 2009


Horrible and fucking sad and horrible; poor sick, suffering animals. Think animals don't suffer shame and humiliation? Who cares! Well, anyway thanks for the funny. They are balding, ha ha!
posted by Auden at 12:38 AM on November 22, 2009


I loved zoos as a kid. As an adult, I can't stomach them. And going to look at bears suffering from an obvious ailment at a zoo? Utterly unthinkable. This post just makes me sad.
posted by heyho at 12:45 AM on November 22, 2009


I would think the biggest problem would be keeping them warm in the German winter.

(...think PETA could use those pictures in their next anti-fur campaign?)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:45 AM on November 22, 2009


Maybe it's stress.

You know, from being cooped up in a fucking enclosure.
posted by bwg at 12:45 AM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Lock me in a cage and feed me slop and I'd lose my hair, too.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:45 AM on November 22, 2009


This makes me very sad too. I agree 100% with heyho.
posted by Saxon Kane at 12:48 AM on November 22, 2009


(.. just to be clear... my initial comment was as sarcastic as I could manage: I think the tone of this post ["You think you have a problem with baldness?"] is completely offensive.

There is nothing "cute" or "funny" about whatever these poor animals are suffering from. (oh, and, for the record, I HATE zoos.)
posted by Auden at 1:01 AM on November 22, 2009


Fucking Yao Guai killed my dog!
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:02 AM on November 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


Are zoos redeemable if they inspire a child to respect other species and that child grows up to be heavily involved in conservation efforts? Or are the David Attenboroughs of the world enough for this purpose? Zoos are undoubtedly ethically dubious, but I often think our behavior that on a massive scale destroys entire species is way more of a concern, and if exposure to a zoo manages to get someone to change that behavior in some way, well, maybe they're not all bad?
posted by palidor at 1:05 AM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Of course if I saw these bears as a child I would likely grow up to shoot wolves from helicopters, etc.
posted by palidor at 1:06 AM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I suppose this is not the part where I mention that my coworkers in the animation department snapped those pics up for anatomical reference purposes the same day the news broke.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:07 AM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sweet Zombie Jesus! That's a sight no one could soon forget.

It also points out a potential problem with the zoo as ark concept. Pretty soon now, a whole lot of well known animals won't exist in the wild. By 2030, say, (to pull a date out of the air) the only remaining tigers and chimps may be the ones in zoos and sanctuaries and the like. But a few hundred or thousand animals is a small genetic sample for any species, and if any of them have hidden genetic problems like this, they may be bred into the remaining population before you know there's anything wrong and that's all she wrote. Spectacled bears would be bald forevermore, or worse. So habitat preservation is still the best way to preserve any species.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:55 AM on November 22, 2009


So habitat preservation is still the best way to preserve any species.

Please have as many children as you can to help this effort, folks.
posted by maxwelton at 2:46 AM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Dolores" and "Lolita"? Er...
posted by alasdair at 4:41 AM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I dunno, in a well kept zoo animals get territory ("cages" true, but anthropomorphizing aside it's a set territory for them to patrol and protect), food, medical attention and breeding programs. In all the good zoos I've been to the animals don't appear to be in distress, and their life span compared to wild animals is certainly much longer for the most part.

I would argue that being able to see a wild animal close up rather than on TV is the best way to promote conservation efforts, and for the majority of people a zoo is far more feasable option than an overaseas trip (which are also protested by some).
posted by Silentgoldfish at 5:50 AM on November 22, 2009


It also points out a potential problem with the zoo as ark concept. Pretty soon now, a whole lot of well known animals won't exist in the wild.....

So habitat preservation is still the best way to preserve any species.


I don't think the 2nd point precludes the first point. Yes, habitat preservation should be the first goal. But if the only chance some of these species to survive in any capacity is zoos, then they're not all bad. I understand the issues with zoos; but they also do a lot of good.
posted by inigo2 at 7:56 AM on November 22, 2009


Since nobody else has mentioned it, we should kill it. Kill it with fire. After lunch maybe.

*yawn*

It's not going anywhere.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:06 AM on November 22, 2009


Still in love with Lady Gaga, Metafilter? She clearly stole a faux-polar bear's coat to make the Bad Romance video. Now there's an imaginary polar bear as nude (and 100% more headless) as these poor critters.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:21 AM on November 22, 2009


Ugh, those are so ugly, all bald except for on their heads OH WAIT.

Dunno; it might be more comfortable in the summer months (global warming, y'know).

As for a possible cause: Itchy bears scratch themselves against things. The things these guys have to scratch against are bricks. That's probably working like a really hardcore version of those bits of sandpaper you see advertised on TV as a hair removal system.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:55 AM on November 22, 2009


Radiolab had an excellent show on zoos a while back.
posted by HumanComplex at 10:16 AM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Zoos are different. I've been to the Fort Worth and San Diego zoos, two of the best, and I've been to the Mexico City zoo. You can tell the difference.
posted by cmoj at 10:19 AM on November 22, 2009


Thanks for the post. I found it interesting. And I love zoos, so there.
posted by Happydaz at 11:44 AM on November 22, 2009


Zoos are different. I've been to the Fort Worth and San Diego zoos, two of the best, and I've been to the Mexico City zoo. You can tell the difference.

Yes, this. I don't think zoos are inherently bad. The ones that go to great effort to create an authentic habitat (like the San Diego zoo) are doing good work and saving animals from extinction. I'd be surprised if anyone visited those and walked away with the impression that the animals' health and happiness isn't their foremost concern. Others that exist solely to showcase animals are a problem. The bigger problem is the destruction of these animals' normal habitats in nature.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:40 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is really strange I was at a friend's house for dinner who was on exchange at the art school in Leipzig. He said that he really loved the zoo, and even though as a vegetarian he felt he should be against zoos this one really changed his mind and gave him a monthly treat. For him, the monkey house was a strange utopia, his only problem with the place was "the enclosure for the fucking bears."
posted by multivalent at 4:10 PM on November 22, 2009


You think you have a problem with baldness?

Well, let's just say I'm getting there faster than I'd like...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:33 PM on November 22, 2009


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