• Germany edition
 
Zoo defends decision to stuff Knut
Photo: DPA

Zoo defends decision to stuff Knut

Published: 23 Mar 2011 10:57 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Mar 2011 10:57 GMT+01:00

The dead bear was a “worldwide, emotional mascot,” the zoo’s bear keeper Heiner Klös told public broadcaster RBB.

His mounted body will be displayed for educational purposes at Berlin’s Museum of Natural History, “because there aren’t that many polar bears any longer,” he said.

Klös also said he understood the opposition to preserving Knut in such a way, but insisted those against it were in the minority.

“Many think it’s good,” he said, adding that other zoo favourites had also been stuffed after their deaths.

Photobucket

Click here for a Knut photo gallery.

On Tuesday, a preliminary necropsy report revealed that the four-year-old polar bear likely died of an undiagnosed brain disorder, saying that “significant changes to the brain could be seen as the reason for the sudden death."

Knut was found lifeless in the pool in his enclosure on Saturday afternoon. An amateur video showing Knut's final moments shows the bear walking in repetitive circles, then having what appears to be a seizure before suddenly collapsing into the pool in his enclosure.

Further details of the necropsy are forthcoming, Klös said.

“Good examinations require good time and we want to tell the truth,” he told RBB.

Other than irregularities noted in Knut’s brain, the rest of his organs were in “tip top” shape, ruling out a heart attack or poisoning, Klös said.

The bear’s health was not in question before the episode, and Klös himself had checked in on Knut just an hour before he died.

The problem was only “very suddenly apparent,” he said. “Then it was too late.”

Knut shot to fame as a cuddly cub after being abandoned by his mother and reared by hand.

Devastated fans have been leaving flower bouquets, written tributes and photos of Knut at his former den at the zoo, while an online condolence book has drawn more than 4,000 messages.

DAPD/AFP/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:18 March 23, 2011 by roboni
You have got to be kidding?
17:50 March 23, 2011 by sarahrodwell
No one wants Knut stuffed. As the French say, "c'est n'importe quoi". They are just saying whatever is most convenient for them.

If an actual poll was taken I would venture that the vast majority of Knut lovers are actually horrified at the prospect of a stuffed Knut.
18:29 March 23, 2011 by derExDeutsche
That stuffed Ursus is an Imposter! If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention! It has come to light that there was a confirmed Knut sighting in Southern Argentina !

Guttenberg lied, the Bear did not Died!
18:49 March 23, 2011 by William Thirteen
it would be more understandable had he been stuffed while still young and cute.
19:43 March 23, 2011 by karenandklaus
They cant even allow the poor animal die with dignity notwithstanding it's popularity. Once again, greed and $$$$ reigns.
20:42 March 23, 2011 by wood artist
Bad idea. Let the poor bear have some peace.

wa
20:52 March 23, 2011 by wildcowgirl
Leave this poor bear alone!!! Stuffing him and throwing out front as part of a display is disgusting!!

Why not put a memorial museum in place with pictures and videos of Knut, the way we all remember him AND would like to remember him.
20:59 March 23, 2011 by Englishted
His soul has gone to Poler Bear heaven ,so his body is now empty .

And if you believe the above go and see a doctor .
22:20 March 23, 2011 by TheOkie
Ok, so I never saw Knut, but the way I see it is this:

If it was anyother Polar Bear of the frozen tundra, the mass public wouldn't give a damn. The only reason that everyone is getting up sit is because you "Know" this bear. But really how his he anymore important than the ones that are losing their homes in the north? Is it not better to perserve Knut, so that you can remember him AND that species that he belongs to. So that you get a better understanding for the species and they all don't have to die in our zoo's?
01:00 March 24, 2011 by Joshontour
People, it's just a bear... A dead bear. I guarantee you Knut doesn't care either way.
05:23 March 24, 2011 by wenddiver
Great idea, we should have stuffed President Kennedy and propped him up by the Berlin Wall, so you could press a button and hear him say "Ich bin ein Berliner" as long as it doesn't interfer with theoperation of the McDonald's at Check Point Charlie.

Maybe when he dies we could stuff Helmet Kohl and have him feeding the Bear.
06:18 March 24, 2011 by Wrench
Why have him stuffed? They can make a bear skin rug out of him and put him at the entrance of the Zoo.
07:21 March 24, 2011 by auniquecorn
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
07:56 March 24, 2011 by catjones
@auniquecorn...the discussion is about stuffing a dead bear, not beating a dead horse.
10:00 March 24, 2011 by auniquecorn
I dont think you would stuff a dead horse, especially after beating it.

It just amazes me, where people come up with sh!t like this, (Lets stuff Knut, then more people will pay to see him)

The most stupidest I´m hear in a long time
16:04 March 24, 2011 by William Thirteen
you couldn't have stuffed Kennedy as the stuffing would have always been popping out the back of his skull and you'd have to keep poking it back in. you could have stuffed Reagan - but it wouldn't have made a difference!
19:16 March 24, 2011 by rubyiman
Please sign the petition so they wont stuff knut

http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/dontstuffknut/
21:40 March 24, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Proof of LIFE!

Here is Knut it in an undisclosed Argentinian animal reserve, being introduced to a new mate. She's a nibbler, look out, Knut! you old hound dog!

http://blog.nus.edu.sg/lsm1303student2010/files/2010/03/Polar-Bear.jpg
11:21 March 25, 2011 by Zobirdie
I dont think they should stuff him either. I mean...seriously... in twenty years, no one will get why this particular zoo polar bear was special for a while.

And I am not saying that to be b!tchy. We know why he is special, and why he touched us. But even 5 years from now, are we still really going to care? Then he is going to be yet another taxidermy in the museum that someone has to dust with a backpack vacuum. Make a memorial at the zoo. Bury the poor fella and let him has his rest.
14:58 March 26, 2011 by tomsnowboo
If Berlin Zoo really cared about Knut, they would have waited to see what the majority of public thought should be done to commemorate him instead of asking a taxidermist to attend the post mortem. The Zoo profited massively from Knut in his lifetime and are now going to fail him in his death. I never had the chance to visit Knut when he was alive, and I don't want to see him stuffed in a museum in death. Please sign the petition: http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/dontstuffknut/
Today's headlines
Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims
Floral tributes were laid on Tuesday at the new Holocaust memorial in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims

A 24-metre blue glass wall in Berlin has been unveiled to commemorate the systematic murder of up to 300,000 mentally ill and disabled people under Adolf Hitler. READ  

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees
Migrants aboard an Italian navy patrol vessel in April 2014. Photo: DPA

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Tuesday pledged support for his Italian colleague in the struggle to manage refugees trying to reach the European Union via its southern coast. READ  

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week
Elephant Nelly takes part in the ice bucket challenge in a Lower Saxony safari park. Photo: DPA

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week

The coffers of the German Society for Muscular Disease (DGM) are overflowing with donations thanks to the viral craze for videos of donors dousing themselves with ice-cold water. READ  

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict
The GRIAT will open in the Russian city of Kazan. Photo: Shutterstock

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is pressing ahead with its German-Russian Institute of Advanced Technologies (GRIAT) against a backdrop of international tensions over Ukraine. READ  

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw
Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw

Bastian Schweinsteiger will replace fellow Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm as captain of the German national football team, head trainer Joachim Löw said on Tuesday. READ  

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'
Christine Haderthauer at her resignation press conference in Munich on Monday. Photo: DPA

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'

Christine Haderthauer, head of the Bavarian state chancery, resigned “with immediate effect” on Monday evening over the so-called “model car scandal” in which her company sold scale models built by a man convicted of three sexual murders. READ  

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis
Taxis are a powerful trade lobby in Germany. Photo: DPA

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis

The Frankfurt regional court has imposed a temporary nationwide ban on chauffeur car service Uber, saying that it must pay a €250,000 fine if passengers continue to book rides through its app. READ  

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa
The facade of the Bad Reichenhall Royal Spa Hotel.

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa

The Bavarian finance ministry has demanded a report from the company running a publicly-owned spa in the town of Bad Reichenhall after they rented the property out for a fetish party. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,412
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd