• 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
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