Death to the bottle-fed polar bear?

This is just a fascinating story from the international Der Spiegel:

Knut Should Be Killed, Say Some Animal Activists
Berlin's polar bear cub Knut is more famous than ever. Even star photographer Annie Leibovitz has been to take his picture. But not everyone loves the little bear. Animal rights activists want him put to sleep because he has been raised on a bottle.

It is such a contrast -- the photography is toward the aim of making the polar bear a symbol against climate change; the "animal rights activists" decry the fact that the cub is being raised by people.

Berlin Zoo is allowing Knut to be raised in such a way that the bear will have a behavioral disorder for the rest of his life, Albrecht believes. "In actual fact, the zoo needs to kill the bear cub," he adds.
He's not alone. Wolfram Graf-Rudolf, director of the Aachen Zoo, told the newspaper, "I don't consider it appropriate for the species that the little polar bear is being raised on a bottle." The animal will be fixated on his keeper and not be a "real" polar bear, he says. However he feels it is now too late to put Knut out of his supposed misery. "The mistake has been made. One should have had the courage to put him to sleep much earlier."

Of course, some "animal rights activists" are simply anti-zoo, and this case seems like quite the publicity-driver. The really surprising part of this to me is that it has happened before:

The idea isn't as outlandish as it may at first seem. Although giving Knut a death sentence would likely bring his many fans out on to the streets, baby zoo animals have been killed for the same reason in the past. Two-day-old baby sloth Hugo was put down by lethal injection in Leipzig Zoo at the end of last year, sparking emotional protests.

I couldn't find any other story confirming "emotional protests" after the death of a sloth named Hugo, so I have my doubts. But this certainly seems a different context than discussions about American zoo animals.

Like pandas. Those little guys can't feed themselves!

(via Volokh Conspiracy)