• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

Knut the polar bear back at Berlin Zoo - in bronze

The Local · 24 Oct 2012, 14:37

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


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
Berlin vs Munich: whose newborn polar bear is cuter?
Berlin's (left) and Munich's (right) newborn bears. Photos: Tierpark Berlin / DPA

Both city zoos welcomed baby polar bears into the world in November, with Berlin zoo its releasing first photos on Friday. But which one is more adorable?

Learn how to speak German like a silver screen icon
Dirty Harry. Photo: DPA

We all agree that there is no other option than to learn irregular German verbs by rote. But when you want a bit of downtime, why not learn from your big screen heroes?

Stolen Dachau 'Work will set you free' gate found: police
The entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Photo: DPA

An iron gate from the former Nazi concentration camp in Germany's Dachau with the slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") has been found two years after it was stolen, police said Friday.

Mystery flight path artist draws new message in sky
Photo: DPA

A pilot who likes to draw patterns in the sky using his flight path has returned with his greatest artwork yet.

Berlin 'abusing power' to stop Snowden coming to Germany
Edward Snowden. Photo: DPA

Opposition parties have accused the coalition government of overstepping its authority in its attempt to block American whistleblower Edward Snowden's trip to Germany.

Germany gains record number of Michelin-star restaurants
Head of the Michelin Guide, Michael Ellis (centre) with Michelin-star chefs at a presentation in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Germany had a slew of newly minted Michelin-star restaurants this year, and its top-rated establishments held onto their prestigious three stars.

At last: Germany passes major disabled rights reform
People in wheelchairs watch as the German parliament deliberates on the new disability rights reform. Photo: DPA.

For years people with disabilities in Germany have called for legislation to provide them with better benefits and opportunities in life and work. On Thursday the German parliament passed such a reform - but is it enough?

How new German rules are holding refugee families apart
Children wait for food in Jarablus, Syria. Photo: DPA

Germany, trying to staunch the flow of Syrian refugees, has placed high hurdles for them to be reunited with their families, creating a Kafkaesque nightmare in the courts.

10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Photo: DPA

Fire up your ovens and get ready to bake - here are ten festive German cookies and pastries that'll send your senses into paroxysms of yuletide joy.

5 things we learnt reading Germany's first Charlie Hebdo
Photo: DPA.

The very first German edition of Charlie Hebdo hit the shelves across the country on Thursday. So what can Germans expect if they buy it?

Lifestyle
10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
Culture
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Features
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Travel
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
6,627
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd