Knut the polar bear
• Even before he made his public debut, Knut was a star. His presence and various licensed Knut memorabilia earned the Berlin Zoo an extra $8 million.
• As he grew, Knut's popularity diminished and, according to the Toronto Star, keepers at the Berlin Zoo were divided about his future. "Knut needs to leave Berlin Zoo, the sooner the better," keeper Markus Roebke said. "He's had so much contact with humans he doesn't realize he's a polar bear. It's not healthy." But Andre Schuele, the vet responsible for Knut's care, said in 2008: "Knut is making very good progress, he's growing up just fine, he's a very healthy animal, and everything is really normal."
• Knut died suddenly in his enclosure in the Berlin Zoo in March 2011 at age four. This is unusually short; polar bears in captivity often live into their 30s.
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: March 23, 2007
Reporter: David Common
Last updated: February 14, 2012
Page consulted on March 30, 2012