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Berlin's city bear dies in compound

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Berlin's city bear dies in compound
Photo: DPA
09:58 CEST+02:00
One of Berlin's two famous bears living in a controversial compound in the centre of the city has died. Maxi was 27 years old and had become a symbol of Berlin.

Maxi died early on Friday morning, the district authority for Berlin-Mitte confirmed. She was known to have been seriously ill, although the exact cause of death is not known. There will now be an investigation into how she died.

The two female brown bears Maxi and Schnute have been the centre of a debate between the city and animal rights activists for years. Critics have said that the bears, kept in a 460-square-metre compound in a park near the Spree River, do not have enough space.

CLICK HERE to see a photo gallery of Maxi and Schnute.

The compound opened in 1939 and has housed bears regularly, as symbolic guardians of the city. After Maxi and Schnute, no further animals will live there.

Animal rights campaigners are calling for 32-year-old Schnute, Maxi's mother, to be removed from the compound as soon as possible.

It remains unclear whether she will stay, or find a new home somewhere else to live out the rest of her life with a little more space.

DPA/The Local/jcw

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