• 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)

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
US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes
The area of the town centre evacuated. Photo: Lüneberg Stadt

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes

Thousands of people in the centre of an historic town in central Germany had to leave their homes late on Wednesday evening after a 250kg bomb was found. READ  

Who is listening to Berlin's music?
Photo: DPA

Who is listening to Berlin's music?

A study by music-streaming service Spotify has revealed the global reach of Berlin-born music, with genres originating in the capital finding a loyal audience in some unlikely places. READ  

Champions League
Boateng delivers Bayern 1-0 win over Man City
Jerome Boateng with Bayern trainer Pep Guardiola on Wednesday night. Photo: DPA

Boateng delivers Bayern 1-0 win over Man City

A superb strike by Jerome Boateng with a minute remaining earned Bayern Munich a dramatic 1-0 victory against Manchester City in their opening Champions League game of the season on Wednesday. Chelsea, meanwhile, were held by Schalke. READ  

Merkel promises help for Liberia in Ebola fight
A man walks past an Ebola information mural in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: DPA

Merkel promises help for Liberia in Ebola fight

Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised that Germany will send help to Liberia to tackle the Ebola crisis in response to a personal appeal by the country's president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. READ  

Cabinet clamps down on child image possession
Justice Minister Heiko Maas. Photo: DPA

Cabinet clamps down on child image possession

People caught in possession of indecent images of children will face tougher prison sentences, the government announced on Wednesday. READ  

The Local List
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again

Ten German words you'll never want to hear again

There are some German words which we'd rather were never invented. From the almost unpronounceable to the sheer pointless, The Local List has identified ten of the worst words in the German language. Do you agree? READ  

Investigators offer $30m reward for MH17 clues
Investigators at the MH17 crash site. Photo: DPA

Investigators offer $30m reward for MH17 clues

Anonymous backers have armed a German private detective with a $30-million war chest to find out who shot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine. READ  

13,000 police will catch speeders on Thursday
This sight will be familiar to drivers on Thursday. Photo: DPA

13,000 police will catch speeders on Thursday

UPDATE: Drivers across Germany will be on the lookout for police holding radar guns on Thursday, as 13,000 officers take to the streets to crack down on speeding. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest traditions
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest traditions

The world's biggest beer festival opens in Munich on Saturday. Running until October 5th, Oktoberfest is expected to attract more than six million visitors, drinking seven million litres of beer. Here's the first of The Local's four-part guide to the festival, starting with leathery traditions. READ  

Climber, 77, falls 80 metres to his death
The Alps near Innsbruck. Photo: DPA

Climber, 77, falls 80 metres to his death

A 77-year-old German climber fell 80 metres to his death in an Alpine ravine on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: DPA
Tech
Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Politics
These men want to be the next mayor of Berlin
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Berlin spy station sees tourism boom
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: DPA
Politics
Are Germans right to want cooler relations with USA?
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Photo: Facebook
National
Bavarian waiter breaks beer-carrying record
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,339
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd