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Knut grows up to become Berlin Zoo's 'stud' bear

DPA/The Local · 22 Mar 2010, 16:02

Published: 22 Mar 2010 16:02 GMT+01:00

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Thomas Dörflein, the zookeeper who raised Knut by hand, said before he died in 2008 that he hoped his adopted bear cub would someday become a father. And according to zoo director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz, his chance has now come.

“He’s going to be our new stud bull,” Blaszkiewitz said.

The three-year-old bear will soon be moving to the zoo’s largest polar bear enclosure to follow in his father Lars’ footsteps. There Lars, who has since moved to Wuppertal, covered female bears Tosca, Nancy and Katjuscha each year.

Later Tosca gave birth to the first polar bears born in Berlin for 30 years, but abandoned Knut and his twin brother on a rock in her enclosure. While his tiny twin didn’t make it, Knut was hand raised by Dörflein and went on to become a fuzzy star, welcoming some 10 million visitors since.

Now weighing in at a healthy 300 kilogrammes, the zoo hopes he will mate with Nancy and Katjuscha. Meanwhile his mother Tosca will be moved to the Friedrichsfelde Zoo in eastern Berlin.

Story continues below…

Knut has been sharing a cage with Munich polar bear Gianna, a three-year-old on loan from Munich’s Hellabrunn Zoo who was initially intended to be his mate, but she will now return to her home in September.

Earlier this month, an animal rights group caused an uproar by calling for Knut to be castrated to avert incest with his distant cousin Gianna.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:19 March 22, 2010 by berlinski
Or caught two timing her. But so be the life of a stud. One of the small prices that must be paid.
19:25 March 22, 2010 by magdelana
This is an intelegent decision. Nessessary in this day and age.
22:08 March 24, 2010 by peschvogel
They should allow Knut to have his balls. With Germany's fertility rates at 1.3 and they are statistically and mathematically irreversable, he needs to do his duty to help out Germany. Knut should be allowed to have offspring so the German Goverment can tax them very high also.
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