Sara Wehrli, head of the Swiss Animal Protection group, says that the zoo acted carelessly by not protecting the bear cubs from their father's aggression -- calling the claims that they were trying to recreate a natural environment "irresponsible."
"Bears are solitary animals and need space," she tells Berner Zeitung.
This isn't the first time a healthy captive animal has been destroyed at the hands of the facility which oversaw its birth. Earlier this year, the Copenhagen Zoo's decision to kill a healthy young giraffe, named Marius, sparked international outrage while bringing to light what is said to be a common practice in zoos. A little more than a month later, the same zoo also killed four healthy lions, including two young cubs.
Correction: An earlier version of this post identified the animals as Russian black bears, when they are in fact Russian brown bears.