Thomas Dörflein

Thomas Dörflein

Birth
Berlin-Mitte, Mitte, Berlin, Germany
Death 22 Sep 2008 (aged 44)
Berlin-Mitte, Mitte, Berlin, Germany
Burial Falkenhagener Feld, Spandau, Berlin, Germany
Memorial ID 29997998 View Source
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Zookeeper. Thomas Dörflein worked as a zookeeper at the Zoologischen Garten in Berlin,Germany, since 1982. In 2006, he became world famous when he took on the role of primary care-giver of the polar bear cub, Knut, after the mother rejected the cub. Last October, Dörflein was awarded Berlin's Medal of Merit in recognition of his constant care of Knut. Dörflein died of a heart attack.
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Thomas Dörflein was a zookeeper at Zoo Berlin for 24 years. In 2006, he rescued, from the mother who rejected him, a newborn polar bear, whom he named Knut. Millions of people all over the world watched, on a daily basis via RBB television, as Thomas hand raised Knut, making Knut famous, and Thomas along with him. Numerous books, films, products, etc. have been published and are still readily available. But Thomas refused to take advantage of his new found fame, and accepted only recognition from a few groups, most notably the prestigious Medal of Merit from Berlin. But the story doesn't stop there...many call the Thomas-Knut story the "Miracle in Berlin." A miracle because so many people have expressed the tremendous change in their personal lives made by witnessing the tenderness and simplicity which Thomas demonstrated, saying that they have been turned from skepticism and disappointment to peace and acceptance. That is the miracle. Thomas Dörflein died suddenly of a heart attack in 2008 at age 44. He was, and still is universally mourned. His grave continues to be visited daily by Berliners and by people from all over the world. Many groups have been formed which continue to follow Knut's life. If you missed the miracle, you can still find them on the Internet.
Famed zookeeper of Knut the Polar Bear. He raised him from a baby who was rejected by his mum to a full grown bear. Reputedly, he had bladder cancer, and was found dead in his flat at age 44. He was the recipient of millions of fan mail from single ladies the world over, no doubt attracted to his good looks and his gentle nature with Knut. He is survived by Knut himself and also his girlfriend Daniela. He was a father of two.