Memorabilia auction from Knut zookeeper Dörflein makes €7,000

Memorabilia auction from Knut zookeeper Dörflein makes €7,000
Photo: DPA
The eBay auction of a handful of possessions of Thomas Dörflein, deceased keeper of Berlin’s famous polar bear Knut, ended Saturday evening, taking a total of nearly €7,000. The sale took place despite recriminations from Dörflein’s former fiancée Daniela K.

There was frantic bidding in the final minutes of the controversial sale, which was set up by Dörflein’s 18-year-old son David and condemned as tasteless by Daniela when it was announced a week ago.

Dörflein’s ten-year-old Opel SUV raised the highest price, €3,600, while a sleeping bag that Dörflein shared with the polar bear when he was a cuddly cub made €1,431.01.

Dörflein’s pen-knife finally took €1,316, though the price had languished at €1,160 only half an hour before the auction closed. Another bidding competition developed around one of Dörflein’s belts, whose price jumped from €285 to €371 in the final half-hour. There was less demand for a book about Elvis Presley with an enclosed CD, which took only €221.

David Dörflein justified the sale of his father’s possessions by saying he needed the cash to look after his father’s grave.

Dörflein, who achieved world fame and was honoured by the city of Berlin for rearing the rejected bear cub Knut, died of a heart attack aged 44 on September 22 last year. His grave in a Spandau cemetery has since become an attraction for many Knut fans.