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Autopsy searches for clues to Knut's untimely demise

The Local · 21 Mar 2011, 18:47

Published: 21 Mar 2011 18:47 GMT+01:00

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However, it remained unclear when the results from the examination of Knut, who was found lifeless in the pool in his enclosure on Saturday afternoon, would be published.

"I cannot give you a timeline. We will inform the public when we know what the exact cause was," spokeswoman Claudia Bienek told news agency AFP.

Knut first shot to fame as a cute cub after being abandoned by his mother and reared by hand.

Devastated fans on Monday left bouquets of pink and red roses, tulips, messages of love, photos of Knut and even a croissant to mark their beloved's passing at the zoo.

"You left us completely unexpectedly, at a moment when televisions the world over are showing images of war and catastrophe," read one message from a fan who added that Knut "brought such joy and harmony in the world."

Bienek said there were currently no plans to erect a memorial to Knut, but zoo director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz said on Monday there might be a small statue in the polar bear enclosure.

"Maybe of Knut when he was a baby," he said.

But Blaszkiewitz also said he could imagine having the bear stuffed and displayed in Berlin's Natural History Museum.


Click here for a Knut photo gallery.

Bienek said in the meantime a "book of condolence" had already been set up for fans to record their memories of the bear.

"I've been blubbering for days," said one entry of the 1,700 left online.

"I am in complete despair over the death of our polar bear Knut. I cannot put my grief in words," wrote another fan.

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. He would sway to and fro and even imitate people taking photos by lifting a paw to his face.

Story continues below…

An amateur video showing Knut's final moments has been posted to the internet. After walking in repetitive circles for some time, he seems to have a seizure before collapsing into the water in his enclosure.

The video could be disturbing to some people.


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Your comments about this article

21:03 March 21, 2011 by BR549
Oh, man. It looks like this will become a bigger controversy than Princess Diana's death! I sure as heck hope that Captain Schatz from the "Gorch Fock" wasn't in the area. The silly Germans would probably try to frame him for that as well!
22:54 March 21, 2011 by pepsionice
While I hope its not that case....I would be highly suspicious of a poisoning episode. There are too many nuts out there who might have seen the bear as something to attack.
23:19 March 21, 2011 by derExDeutsche
On the grassy knoll... behind the enclosure...

how does Germany's mascot die the same day that Germany gets into an Oil war?
02:49 March 22, 2011 by SunsetVa
I just really got mad, reading that the zoo director said"

"But Blaszkiewitz also said he could imagine having the bear stuffed and displayed in Berlin's Natural History Museum."

The people of Berlin should oppose that idea strongly, let Knut have some dignity left in this world...Do not let that happen.

A "small" statue.....the Zoo director should be tarred and feathered and run out of Berlin, after all the money that he got out of Knut's publicity. Is that all he thought of Knut?

There should be a life size statue of Knut , made of bronze for the city of Berlin.

And a new zoo director...I just couldn't believe he is considering having Knut stuffed.

08:09 March 22, 2011 by jeffi_in_denmark
It was a wild animal in captivity. A natural history museum is a perfect place for a display on wild animals and if Berlin is missing a display of northern animals, this might be a good place to start.

It is just a bit sad to see such a display over an animal when most folk likely wouldn't go out of their way to make a mention if a local street-person was discovered dead beside some back alley dumpster one spring morning.

Guess polar bears are cuter.
09:07 March 22, 2011 by catjones
Could we stuff Blaszkiewitz instead?
10:38 March 22, 2011 by jimscott
A book of condolence for a bear? For Christ sake !
11:04 March 22, 2011 by Angry Ami
@ catjones man you're brilliant,

and you could pose him holding up his bitten off finger ;-)
11:56 March 22, 2011 by sebastian2010
man..... I can always tell when army bucks are leaving comments. No wonder they are put on the front lines of combat. thats where they belong. brainless tools
14:50 March 22, 2011 by Prufrock2010
@ExDeutsche --

What "oil war" was that? The UN resolution against Libya that Germany decided to abstain from?
16:22 March 22, 2011 by derExDeutsche
@ Frufrok

Which must have just broken your cold dark heart, when they choose to Abstain ::sniff::

a sad day for an old Warmonger like you. In fact I even saw you insult your old Shangrila's China and Russia, wow. These must be desperate times.
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