“He's definitely not here to play games,” said chief of the Tierpark zoo Bernhard Blaszkiewtz on Tuesday, referring to the healthy two-year-old polar bear that will be sharing an enclosure with his new female friend Tonja.
The youngster, who does not have a name yet, has come from Moscow zoo and although transport costs set Tierpark back around €8,000, he was free.
Tonja is also a Russian bear, and initially was earmarked as a potential love interest for Knut – who was born in Berlin and became something of a celebrity over his short life. However after Knut's death, keepers had to rethink.
Tierpark, located in the east of the city, has struggled with financial problems recently. Hopefully the new addition will prove popular with visitors.
If he does produce another Knut, the zoo could enjoy a tourist boom.
Knut died on March 19th 2011, aged just four years and three months after collapsing in his enclosure in front of a large number of visitors at the zoo in the German capital and plunging into the pool.
He shot to fame as a photogenic cub after being abandoned by his mother and was raised by zookeepers. He was wildly popular and even had his own line of merchandise.
Knut was born in Berlin’s Zoological Garden.
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