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Knut, Famous Polar Bear, Found Dead

3/19/2011 12:59 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Knut -- the famous polar bear raised by zookeepers in Germany -- died Saturday in his compound, a Berlin zoo official announced today.

Knut Dead
Knut became famous after he was rejected by his mother at birth and raised by zookeepers at the Berlin Zoo.

According to one report, he was found floating in the water in the zoo's polar bear enclosure on Saturday. Bear keeper Heiner Kloes was quoted as saying, "He was by himself in his compound, he was in the water, and then he was dead ... He was not sick, we don't know why he died."

A cause of death is not known, but tests are expected to be performed Monday.

He was 4.


92 COMMENTS

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61.

Charlotte    

Perfect example of why wild animals should be left in the WILD. Many animals live 1/2 of their normal lifespan in captivity. RIP beautiful Knut :(

1282 days ago
62.

what He said    

sad...lump in my throat, he was a cute bear.

1282 days ago
63.

Dre    

He lived together with other bears. His mom and two other ladies. So he was not lonely. They were just already inside their cages when he died. Wonder what happened. So sad... :-(

1282 days ago
64.

Becky    

Beautiful, furry little bear cub Knut gave so many of us so much joy. He was world famous! And anyone complaining about this item instead of another inane non-story about another "celebrity" needs to take time to appreciate the life of this darling bear cub who was hand raised in front of the media. He probably missed his zookeeper friend who passed away. He could have died from loneliness. He wouldn't be the first animal to do so. :*(

1282 days ago
65.

Who'sThat    

to some of you idiots, Knut was a "celebrity" in Germany and was very famous since the time he was born...dumbazzes if you don't want to read about him, just scroll past to your idols, Charlie Sheen or Linsey..., you don't have to stop and comment...this bear had many fans and many youngsters just fell in love with him since he was young...

RIP Knut!

1282 days ago
66.

Brian    

I'm hearing that knut was found naked with a belt around his neck and polar bear porn on the side of the pool...

1282 days ago
67.

Moonbeam    

Knut was a well-loved celebrity who was actually deserving of his fame and public adoration, unlike so many human "celebrities" who "grace" this website.

Congrats to TMZ for covering a worthy celebrity, and thanks for bringing us this story. It might otherwise have been overlooked due to such an otherwise heavy news day in the world, but it still deserved to be mentioned.

I believe we also lost one of the big cats in one of our major zoos several years ago (I think in L.A., but not sure) for something as easily treatable as flea bite anemia. Nobody noticed it and treated it time.

I'm sure Knut will be missed by those who worked with him and those who visited the zoo to admire him.

1282 days ago
68.

wow ew    

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knut_%28polar_bear%29

Knut (German pronunciation: [ˈknuːt] ( listen)) (5 December 2006 – 19 March 2011) was a polar bear who was born in captivity at the Berlin Zoological Garden. Rejected by his mother at birth, he was raised by zookeepers. He was the first polar bear cub to survive past infancy at the Berlin Zoo in more than thirty years. At one time the subject of international controversy, he became a tourist attraction and commercial success.[1] After the German tabloid newspaper Bild ran a quote from an animal rights activist that seemingly called for the death of the young cub, fans worldwide rallied in support of his being hand-raised by humans. Children protested outside the zoo, and e-mails and letters expressing sympathy for the cub's life were sent from around the world.[2]

Knut became the center of a mass media phenomenon dubbed "Knutmania" that spanned the globe and spawned toys, media specials, DVDs, and books.[3] Because of this, the cub was largely responsible for a significant increase in revenue, estimated at about five million euros, at the Berlin Zoo in 2007.[4] Zoo attendance figures for the year increased by an estimated 30 percent, making it the most profitable year in its 163-year history.[5] Knut died at the age of four on the afternoon of 19 March 2011.[6]
Knut was born at the Berlin Zoo to 20-year-old Tosca, a former circus performer from East Germany who was born in Canada, and her 13-year-old mate Lars, who was originally from the Tierpark Hellabrunn in Munich. After an uncomplicated gestation, Knut and his unnamed brother were born on 5 December 2006. Tosca rejected her cubs for unknown reasons, abandoning them on a rock in the polar bear enclosure.[7] Zoo keepers rescued the cubs by scooping them out of the enclosure with an extended fishing net,[7] but Knut's brother died of an infection four days later. Knut was the first polar bear to have been born and survive in the Berlin Zoo in over thirty years. Only the size of a guinea pig, he spent the first 44 days of his life in an incubator before zoo keeper Thomas Dörflein began raising the cub.[8]

Knut's need for round-the-clock care required that Dörflein not only sleep on a mattress next to Knut's sleeping crate at night, but also play with, bathe, and feed the cub daily. Knut's diet began with a bottle of baby formula mixed with cod liver oil every two hours, before graduating at the age of four months to a milk porridge mixed with cat food and vitamins.[9][10] Dörflein also accompanied Knut on his twice-daily one-hour shows for the public and therefore appeared in many videos and photographs alongside the cub. As a result, Dörflein became a minor celebrity in Germany[9] and was awarded Berlin's Medal of Merit in honour of his continuous care for the cub.[11] Dörflein died of a heart attack on 22 September 2008. He was 44 years old.[12]

1282 days ago
69.

wow ew    

There's a do***entary called Knut and Friends. You guys who leave the cold hearted comments should check it out. Learn a thing or two about parental love and compassion.

1282 days ago
70.

Leigh Ann    

It would be nice if all the dumb asses who don't care about animals wouldn't bother commenting about their lack of concern or care. It would also be nice if all of these same idiots would learn how to spell and structure a sentence. Their nastiness is rivaled only by their stupidity.

1282 days ago
71.

Zippy T. Pinhead    

I must admit that I am the culprit. I flew to Germany, went to the zoo, climbed over the bear wall, put that big fella in a head-lock and held him under water until he passed out.

1282 days ago
72.

Superman    

75.

to some of you idiots, Knut was a "celebrity" in Germany and was very famous since the time he was born...dumbazzes if you don't want to read about him, just scroll past to your idols, Charlie Sheen or Linsey..., you don't have to stop and comment...this bear had many fans and many youngsters just fell in love with him since he was young...

RIP Knut!

Posted at 1:40 PM on Mar 19, 2011 by Who'sThat
-----------------

Ummmmm, yeah. That's either irony or hypocrisy coming from someone with the username of "Who'sThat"!! Dumbass!

1282 days ago
73.

Jana    

75.

to some of you idiots, Knut was a "celebrity" in Germany and was very famous since the time he was born...dumbazzes if you don't want to read about him, just scroll past to your idols, Charlie Sheen or Linsey..., you don't have to stop and comment...this bear had many fans and many youngsters just fell in love with him since he was young...

RIP Knut!

Posted at 1:40 PM on Mar 19, 2011 by Who'sThat

------------------

Are you serious? I live in Germany and he was no wear near a "celebrity". It's just like with Heidi that weird opossum. You know, when the media doesn't have anything else to write about, they find a cute animal and write about it. There are many many zoos in Germany, and there were a few stories about him 3 years back. But no one cared anymore.

It sucks that he's dead but life will go on. Seriously. So many animals die each day due to animal cruelty and nothing's written about them.

1282 days ago
74.

Jana    

excuse my spelling mistake. It's supposed to be nowhere and not no wear. Haha. Yeah it's late.

1282 days ago
75.

TARA    

@ buddah: so why are you here if "TMX sucks" according to you? Or are you just a spam-bot?

..Did they find out Knut was a jew?

1282 days ago
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