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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Will Knut ever rest in peace? Taxidermists working on polar bear 'killed by fame' for Berlin museum display


Not forgotten: Taxidermists are already working on Knut the polar bear, who may have died from brain injuries according to the latest tests

Knut the polar bear may be stuffed and put on display at a German museum so fans can still visit the adored animal despite his death.

The world's favourite polar bear died in his enclosure at Berlin Zoo last Saturday in front of horrified fans.

But Gesine Steiner, a spokeswoman for the Berlin Natural History Museum, has said the museum in talks with the Berlin Zoo about the next step.

Wildly popular: Visitors have created a makeshift shrine around Knut's old enclosure at Berlin Zoo since his death last Saturday

'It is true that our taxidermists are working on his corpse and have removed his fur,' Steiner told Bloomberg.

'We haven't yet made a decision on whether we will stuff him and exhibit him.
'We do, of course, have lots of stuffed zoo animals on show here.'

Knut was so popular that crowds have gathered beside his empty compound since his death, laying down red roses and white stuffed polar bears, lighting candles and putting up pictures of Knut with personal messages for him.

Knut's rise to fame started after he was rejected at birth by his mother. He would have died had the zoo not taken the decision to rear him by human hand.

He was aged four when he died. Polar bears usually live until around 15 to 20 in the wild and often longer in captivity.

Debut: Knut made his first public appearance at the zoo on March 23, 2007

The cause of death appears to have been brain injuries, according to the zoo.
Initial findings from a necropsy performed on Monday showed 'significant changes to the brain, which can be viewed as a reason for the polar bear's sudden death,' the zoo said in a statement.

Pathologists found no changes to any other organs, the zoo said, adding that it will take several days to produce a final result.

However, animal rights groups have condemned the way he had been reared in the zoo, blaming the stresses of his 'unreal' celebrity-style life for his early death.

Knut says hello

source: dailymail


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