Polar bear cub Snowflake prepares for media debut

DDP/The Local
DDP/The Local - [email protected] • 6 Apr, 2008 Updated Sun 6 Apr 2008 10:59 CEST
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Germany's newest polar bear cub, Snowflake, is about to experience the media scrum as she makes her live television debut. She might take some advice from her predecessor, the now very adult Knut.

On Tuesday, the almost-four-month-old polar bear baby from Nuremberg will find her home invaded by camera teams and coiffed TV reporters commenting on her every move. Several German broadcasters as well as CNN and Japan's Fuji TV will be at Nuremberg's zoo to record Snowflake's first steps in her open-air enclosure.

Up to now, the only images of her were recordings from the bear nursery, which is not open to the public.

"It will be the biggest media spectacle that Nuremberg has ever seen," said Alexandra Foghammer, who works for the city. So far, 360 journalists and photographers have registered to be there when Snowflake makes her public debut.

"We're about to become Snowflake TV," said Matthias Bolhöfer, a spokesman for the broadcaster RTL.

The current media excitement recalls the March 2007 debut of Knut, Berlin's baby polar bear, who soon became omnipresent in German and international media. The fluffy white cub, who had been rejected by his own mother, captured the hearts of millions both in Germany and abroad. He made the covers of both the German and US editions of the magazine Vanity Fair.

It remains to be seen whether Snowflake will become a similar phenomenon or if the public will exhibit cub fatigue. Media organizations appear to be banking on the former.

Snowflake herself appears to be taking all the commotion in strike, according to Nuremberg's zoo.

"Up to now, she hasn't picked up on anything," said Foghammer. It was the people around the cub, she added, who were having all the stress.



DDP/The Local 2008/04/06 10:59

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