Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Passing of Knut

Baby Knut attacking a (stuffed)
Baylor bear.
Yesterday, the famous polar bear of the Berlin Zoo unexpectedly died.  After Knut's birth in 2006, his mother, Tosca, cruelly rejected him.  The bear handlers at Berlin took Knut home, defying German animal rights activists who said the bear should be killed.  The endless videos and photos of baby Knut romping around and shredding the apartment of his human parents propelled the cub to international fame.  As with any rags to riches story, there is a nefarious sub-plot.  The commercial success of the Knut brought unbudgeted wealth to the Berlin Zoo...  Neumünster Zoo, the home of Knut's father, Lars, wanted a cut of the action and filed suit against the Berlin Zoo.  As part of the original breeding agreement, Berlin Zoo agreed that the first born of Tosca and Lars would belong to Neumunster Zoo.  Berlin reneged on the deal.  Ultimately, Berlin shared some of the cash (430,000 euros), but not the bear.  Despite getting "less cute" in his maturity, Knut continued to draw large crowds at the zoo.  

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