• Germany edition
 
Knut the polar bear back at Berlin Zoo - in bronze
Photo: DPA

Knut the polar bear back at Berlin Zoo - in bronze

Published: 24 Oct 2012 14:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Oct 2012 14:37 GMT+02:00

The small sculpture by Nuremberg artist Josef Tabachnyk is entitled "Knut the Dreamer" and shows bear lying on a rock. The sculpture was funded by donations from fans across the world, the Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported on Wednesday.

"Knut will stay in the hearts of many visitors, this memorial will create something for future generations so that the unique nature of this animal celebrity will live on," said the Friends of the Capital Zoos association.

Knut, who died suddenly on March 19th last year at the age of four, shot to fame after being abandoned by his mother and reared by hand by a zookeeper.

Film footage of Thomas Dörflein feeding the snow-white baby bear with a bottle and then wrestling with him as he became larger - even singing Elvis songs to him - ensured the pair's enduring popularity. Dörflein himself died in 2008, not long after he broke off contact with the by-then adult bear.

When Knut died three years later, having suffered a seizure and falling into water in his enclosure, distraught fans left flowers, written tributes and photos of him at the zoo, while an online condolence book drew thousands of messages.

The first public appearance of "Cute Knut" attracted 100 camera crews from around the world and the cub generated millions of Euros for Berlin Zoo in lucrative merchandising and additional entrance fees.

The bear is thought to have had more than 11 million visitors from all over the world during his short life, wrote the paper. At the height of his fame, he even appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine and on German postage stamps.

Photobucket

Click here for a Knut photo gallery.

But once Knut grew into a strapping adolescent and then adult, animal welfare groups began to worry that he was displaying abnormal behaviour because of all the attention.

The most popular animal in the history of the Berlin Zoo had left "traces of love" behind, the zoo’s commercial director Gabriele Thöne told the Berliner Zeitung on Wednesday. Some may have disapproved of making the bear into a celebrity, but they too "couldn't escape the magic of the moment," she added.

AFP/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:30 October 24, 2012 by MrOlsen
I'm dreaming of the day all animals in the zoo are made of bronze.
Today's headlines
Siemens lands €650m Norway wind power deal
Photo: DPA

Siemens lands €650m Norway wind power deal

German engineering giant Siemens has won a contract worth 650 million euros to supply wind turbines to Norwegian power groups Statoil and Statkraft, the company said Thursday. READ  

BVB seeks cash to match Bayern
Photo: DPA

BVB seeks cash to match Bayern

Borussia Dortmund announced its plan to raise €114.4 million on Thursday in an effort to compete with Bundesliga rival Bayern Munich. READ  

Merkel tops Putin hot-line call queue
Call me maybe: The Berlin-Moscow hot-line has been busy. Photo: DPA

Merkel tops Putin hot-line call queue

"If there's somethin' strange in your neighbourhood; Who ya gonna call?" If you're Vladimir Putin, growing ever more isolated among his G8 peers, it's Angela Merkel, say the Kremlin hot-line stats. READ  

More Germans seek assisted dying abroad
A Belgian "suicide kit" including the commonly-used drug sodium pentothal. Photo: DPA

More Germans seek assisted dying abroad

A study revealed today that more people traveled to Switzerland to undergo assisted dying from Germany than from any other country in 2012. READ  

80,000 trainee jobs empty as Germans opt for uni
Photo: DPA

80,000 trainee jobs empty as Germans opt for uni

More young people are choosing university degrees over vocational training, leaving firms scrambling to find qualified new hires. READ  

Doctor arrested over medical test 'rape' photos
The Bamberg Clinic, where alleged abuse was reported. Photo: DPA

Doctor arrested over medical test 'rape' photos

Police in Bavaria have arrested a 48-year-old doctor for allegedly drugging and raping medical test volunteers, media reported Thursday. READ  

German of the Week
Nuts and bolts of being a piercing king
Rolf Buchholz, world's most pierced man. Photo: Caro von D Photografie

Nuts and bolts of being a piercing king

The world's most-pierced man, Rolf Buchholz, was just deported from Dubai, for fear of 'black magic', he says. But as shocking as many people find his body modifications, it is a genuine passion, our German of the Week explains. And who knows, he may just enchant you yet. READ  

Amazon 'should not endanger diversity'
State minister for culture and media Monika Grütters. Photo: DPA

Amazon 'should not endanger diversity'

A German minister on Wednesday threw her weight behind the authors battling US online retail giant Amazon over its alleged strong-arm negotiating tactics with publishers. READ  

Opposition calls for arms export debate
Photo: DPA

Opposition calls for arms export debate

Green Party leader Katrin Göring-Eckhardt is calling for a special session of parliament following Wednesday's announcement that Germany will break its rules and deliver weapons to an active conflict zone. READ  

Families find solace and help with seniors
Photo: DPA

Families find solace and help with seniors

When Verena Herz found out she was pregnant with twins, she had no idea what she was in for. Luckily, she was able to borrow a grandmother. The Local learns the advantages of welcoming a new grandparent into the family and why Omas and Opas say: "I tell everybody about it!" READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Photo: DPA
Society
A German journalist shares the story of his US arrest in Ferguson
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
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

3,370
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd