Knut, Germany’s Famous Polar Bear, Dies In Front Of 600 Visitors – VIDEO

Knut, the celebrity polar bear, died suddenly in his compound at the Berlin Zoo on Saturday afternoon, March 19. He waded into the water in his enclosure before having a short spasm and then dying in front of hundreds of zoo visitors.

Bear keeper Heiner Kloes from the zoo said the four-year-old was alone in his compound. He says the cause is not yet clear.

He Was In The Water, And Then He Died

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

The Daily Mail reports:

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.

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.

Although Knut was the first polar bear to be born and survive at Berlin Zoo in more than 30 years, his tragic young life was blighted by tragedy from the start. Both he and his twin were rejected by their mother at birth and his unnamed brother died four days later.

Knut’s Amazing Story

That was the beginning of Knut’s amazing story. After spending 44 days in an incubator, he was given to the care of zoo keeper Thomas Dorflein, who spent countless hours with him. The two clearly formed a strong bond.

News of the cub’s miraculous survival was picked up by the world’s media and the young cub became the zoo’s top attraction.

But tragedy struck again before Knut’s second birthday in 2008, when Mr Dorflein died of a sudden heart attack at the age of 44. For several weeks following his keeper’s death, Knut seemed to suffer from constant depression.

And now Knut is gone.

Knut Was Only Four Years Old – What Happened?

The life expectancy of polar bears in the wild is between 15 and 20 years, but animals in captivity can live even longer because they are not exposed to hunger, thirst or infections. So what happened to Knut?

Hopefully we will find out, but meanwhile, here’s a cute video of the young Knut with his beloved keeper:

Photo credit : Kevin.Ward via Creative Commons


Yvonne Wey
Yvonne W2 years ago


Teresa W.
Teresa W2 years ago

very sad

Fi T.
Past Member 2 years ago

The human should cause less death

Gloria H.
Gloria H5 years ago

I voted yes with lots of reservation...polar bears are going extinct, their habitat is melting or being invaded for the quest for black gold (oil). Zoos may be the last resort. At least keep them in a large environment with weather similar to where they have lived, not sent out to swelter in a hot climate.

Nils Lunde
PlsNoMessage se6 years ago

As I said last year:

"A very sad day. First, the mother who did not want her children, then his brother died (though this was very early in childhood), so his supervisor. From what I understand he has been alone the last 2 years? We humans must soon realize that we can no longer keep on with the overuse of our planet. Much of the tragedies we see today could have been avoided had we taken more into account the animal world and each other"

Also I do not think Knut should be stuffed. Picture Is better........................

Elizabeth O.
.6 years ago

Voted 'no!'

Jay Shim
Jay Shim6 years ago

Wow who sang the song? It's terrible!
But still, I'm very heart broken about the polar bear dying :'(
It was very cute.

Jami Winn
Jami Winn6 years ago

i don't believe in taxidermy of any kind but thats not the point the point is that polar bears and other endangered species should be breed in wildlife sanctuaries then returned to the wild not in zoos

Diane L.
Diane L6 years ago

It never ceases to amaze me how many people comment without bothering to read the entire article or any of the comments. Clara, if you'd bothered to have scrolled down, you would have realized that there WAS a necropsy (they don't call them "post mortems" with animals) and Knut had epilepsy. He had a massive seizure. I also doubt they "freeze dry" a 1500-lb. animal. I agree with you about Knut being a great "teaching tool", though. I used to be horrified at the thought of Trigger being "stuffed", but then doing so gave thousands of visitors to the Roy Rogers Museum the opportunity to view him in the "after life", who, like me, never got to see him in the flesh.

Clara J.
Clara Jimerson6 years ago

Maybe if the zoo had Knut freeze-dried like some people do their pets, the public may have been more receptive. Above all, a post mortem to discover why he suddenly dies is demanded. Knut's mother knew something was wrong with both cubs and she rejected them for their quick and easy deaths years ago. Animals do this all the time, but we humans have an extra programming chip that instills in us to care for our not so perfect "young-ins". I do not disagree with "stuffing" this 4 year old Polar Bear as he will be one of the greatest teaching tools for humans. Knut gave his all for us, now let us learn from him.