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Knut
Birth: Dec. 5, 2006
Berlin-Mitte
Berlin, Germany
Death: Mar. 19, 2011
Berlin, Germany

BERLIN — Berlin's beloved polar bear Knut, who rose to stardom when he was hand-raised by zoo keepers after being rejected by his mother rejected at birth, died on Saturday, a zoo official said.

The world-famous bear died alone in his compound, bear keeper Heiner Kloes told The Associated Press.

"He was by himself in his compound, he was in the water, and then he was dead," said Kloes. "He was not sick, we don't know why he died."
A post mortem will be conducted on Monday to try pinpoint his cause of death, he said.

Between 600 and 700 people were at Knut's compound and saw the four-year-old bear die, German news agency DAPD reported.

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit called Knut's death "awful."

"We all held him so dearly," Wowereit told daily newspaper B.Z. "He was the star of the Berlin zoos."

The polar bear rose to global fame after he was rejected by his mother when he was born in captivity on December 5, 2006. The fluffy cub was shown to the public 15 weeks later, and attendance at the zoo has roughly doubled since, officials said.

The resulting "Knutmania" led to a 2007 Vanity Fair cover with actor Leonardo DiCaprio shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, a film and plush likenesses. Though the zoo has never released exact numbers, Knut merchandise including postcards, key chains, candy and stuffed Knuts have brought in hundreds of thousands of euros [AP].


Two weeks after the death of Knut the polar bear, investigators have determined the cause of the four-year-old's untimely demise.

According to the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), Knut suffered from a brain inflammation and muscle spasms that caused him to fall from his perch and drown in the enclosure's pool.

Claudia Szentik, pathologist with the IZW, said that the inflammation in Knut's brain was so massive that "he would have died sooner or later."

Although Knut showed no signs of stress, IZW President Heribert Hofer explained that wild animals can bear a large amount of pain without outwardly showing it.

Protest plannned

The current director of Berlin's Natural History Museum, Ferdinand Damaschun, said it was conceivable that Knut's remains could be preserved and put on display in an exhibit about climate change.

These plans have sparked a backlash among Knut fans, who plan to hold a demonstration outside Berlin Zoo on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the zoo plans to build a bronze statue to commemorate the world-renowned polar bear who was visited by 11 million people during his lifetime.

Knut shot to fame after being abandoned by his mother and hand-reared by keeper Thomas Dörflein.

Author: Spencer Kimball (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

Editor: Susan Houlton

Two weeks after the death of Knut the polar bear, investigators have determined the cause of the four-year-old's untimely demise.

According to the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), Knut suffered from a brain inflammation and muscle spasms that caused him to fall from his perch and drown in the enclosure's pool.

Claudia Szentik, pathologist with the IZW, said that the inflammation in Knut's brain was so massive that "he would have died sooner or later."

Although Knut showed no signs of stress, IZW President Heribert Hofer explained that wild animals can bear a large amount of pain without outwardly showing it.

Protest plannned

The current director of Berlin's Natural History Museum, Ferdinand Damaschun, said it was conceivable that Knut's remains could be preserved and put on display in an exhibit about climate change.

These plans have sparked a backlash among Knut fans, who plan to hold a demonstration outside Berlin Zoo on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the zoo plans to build a bronze statue to commemorate the world-renowned polar bear who was visited by 11 million people during his lifetime.

Knut shot to fame after being abandoned by his mother and hand-reared by keeper Thomas Dörflein [Spencer Kimball AFP, dpa, Reuters]


 
 
Burial:
Unknown
Specifically: Museum Für Naturkunde
 
Created by: Kurtis Kirk
Record added: Mar 19, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67133866
Knut
Added by: Pugg
 
Knut
Added by: Pugg
 
Knut
Added by: Kurtis Kirk
 
 
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- Donna Choate Sigmon
 Added: Dec. 8, 2014

- Donna Choate Sigmon
 Added: Dec. 6, 2014

- Maja
 Added: Dec. 5, 2014
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