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Thread: Berlin zoo: Beloved polar bear Knut has died

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Berlin zoo: Beloved polar bear Knut has died

    Berlin zoo: Beloved polar bear Knut has died - Yahoo! News


    FILE - In this March 23, 2007 file photo, Knut, the polar bear cub, has its first public appearance with his keeper in the Berlin zoo. A Berlin zoo official says world-famous polar bear Knut has died. Bear keeper Heiner Kloes said that four-year-old Knut died Saturday afternoon while alone in his compound. He says the cause is not yet clear.


    BERLIN – Berlin's beloved polar bear Knut, an international star who as a cuddly, fluffy cub graced magazine covers, movies and merchandise, died Saturday. His death at the young age of four took zookeepers and animal experts by surprise.

    The celebrity bear died suddenly in his compound at the Berlin Zoo on Saturday afternoon, bear keeper Heiner Kloes told The Associated Press. He waded into the water in his enclosure before having a short spasm and then dying in front of hundreds of zoo visitors.

    While the life expectancy of polar bear in the wild is between 15 and 20 years, animals in captivity can live even longer because they are not exposed to hunger, thirst or infections. A postmortem will be conducted on Monday to try to pinpoint the cause of death, Kloes said.

    "He certainly did not die of old age," Thomas Pietsch from the Vier Pfoten group for the prevention of cruelty to animals told German news agency DAPD.

    His death was met by an immediate outpouring of sorrow. As the news of Knut's death spread through the city, more Knut fans showed up at the zoo, assembling in front of the bear compound to mourn his loss.

    Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit called Knut's death "awful," telling the B.Z. daily, "we all held him so dear."

    "He was the star of the Berlin zoos," he said.

    Rejected by his mother at birth on December 5, 2006, along with his twin brother, who only survived a couple of days, Knut first attracted attention when his main caregiver, Thomas Doerflein, camped out at the zoo to give the button-eyed cub his bottle every two hours. Doerflein cuddled and played with him at daily public appearances to the delight of thousands of people who came to watch.

    Fan clubs sprung up across the globe, including in Japan, the United States and Germany. Fans followed his every move, including his weight battle — he had a weakness for croissants — or plans to move to a different zoo.

    "Knutmania" led to a 2007 Vanity Fair cover with actor Leonardo DiCaprio shot by photographer Annie Leibovitz, a film and plush likenesses. Though the zoo has never released exact numbers, Knut merchandise including postcards, key chains, candy and stuffed Knuts have brought in hundreds of thousands of euros.

    He was so adored, and profitable, Berlin's zoo paid some euro430,000 ($600,000) to the Neumuenster zoo to settle a financial dispute over his ownership. Neumuenster owns Knut's father and had insisted it was the legal owner of Knut, the elder bear's first offspring.

    No longer a cub, Knut grew rapidly, weighing a hulking 440-pounds (200-kilograms) by age two, and trading in white fluff for yellowish fur. Doerflein, the zookeeper who raised him, died in 2008 of a heart attack, earning front page headlines in German newspapaper as "Knut's daddy."

    Between 600 and 700 people were at his compound when Knut died, zoo officials said. One visitor said she watched Knut lying on the surface of the water motionless with only his back showing for ten minutes until zookeepers came and fenced off the compound.

    "Everybody was asking, 'What's going on, why is Knut not moving?'" said Camilla Verde, a 30-year-old Italian who lives in Berlin.

    "All the zoo keepers who put up the fences were so very sad. One of them said, 'He was our baby,'" she said.

    Some said they feared Knut had died from all the stress that stardom brings.

    "I suspect he died of a heart attack," said Elke Neumann, who had come to Knut's enclosure when she heard of his death. "And I hope the medical officials will be able to confirm that it was because of stress."

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Aw, damn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RIP, Knut.
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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Poor fella He had an uphill battle his whole, short life.

    RIP, Knut. You were a beautiful boy.

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    The tragic passing of Knut, everyone's favorite German polar bear, could have been prevented ... maybe ... this according to PETA.


    Knut passed away in his habitat this morning of still-to-be determined causes at the age of 4. A rep for PETA tells TMZ they contacted to Berlin Zoo months ago to alert them to the fact that Knut was being "terrorized" by three female polar bears -- including his own mother!

    The rep tells us, "PETA Germany repeatedly asked zoo authorities to move Knut away from the three females to a different location. His premature death could possibly have been avoided. Polar bears don't belong in captivity."

    A necropsy is planned for Monday to determine the cause of death.


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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    To me, NO animal belongs in a zoo, but that's just my opinion.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brookie View Post
    To me, NO animal belongs in a zoo, but that's just my opinion.
    I agree. Unless it's a rescue centre type place.
    Poor Knut

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    This is such sad news.
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    Elite Member Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    I "met" Knut in 2007, we made a film about him. I said then and there, they (the Berlin Zoo admins) are killing him. It was awful to watch how they whored him out, he was already psychotic when he was a baby. They had spotlights on him at night and literally millions of visitors yelling his name, it was like a fucking rock concert. I saw him one more time after Dörflein, his caretaker, had died. I knew Knut wasn't going to make it. Whatever psychosomatic reason it was, he died of a broken heart. It was painfully obvious.

    R.I.P., little buddy.
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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    So sad, so young. So unnecessary.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    How sad

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Oh that poor animal, how sad.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    nooooo!!!
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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Looks like he had a seizure or something.

    WARNING: Don't watch if you don't want to see the bear fall into the water.

    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9P_gUtZN-E[/YOUTUBE]
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    I "met" Knut in 2007, we made a film about him. I said then and there, they (the Berlin Zoo admins) are killing him. It was awful to watch how they whored him out, he was already psychotic when he was a baby. They had spotlights on him at night and literally millions of visitors yelling his name, it was like a fucking rock concert. I saw him one more time after Dörflein, his caretaker, had died. I knew Knut wasn't going to make it. Whatever psychosomatic reason it was, he died of a broken heart. It was painfully obvious.

    R.I.P., little buddy.
    this makes me feel sick and angry at the same time. Do they not understand proper animal care and behavior at that zoo?? It's not like the Baghdad Roadside Circus, for christ's sake.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    the whole thing is so tragic. poor little knut. i'm just glad his trainer died first and didn't have to go through this. in those videos of him and knut when he was just a little baby you could see how much he loved that little bear.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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