Cute Knut: First Polar Bear Born in Berlin Zoo in 30 Years
Berlin Zoo is delighted at the birth of Knut, the first polar bear to be born in the animal park in over 30 years. The cub spent his first 44 days in an incubator after being rejected by his mother. Now he's being raised on a bottle.
The polar bears in Berlin Zoo may be having trouble getting to sleep as unseasonably warm weather interferes with their hibernation schedule, but one little bear is just happy to be alive.
Knut was born on Dec. 5, 2006, the first polar bear cub to be born in Berlin Zoo in 30 years, but was rejected by his mother, the 20-year-old polar bear Tosca. His twin brother died four days after the birth.
Little Knut spent the first 44 days of his life in an incubator. Thanks to the loving care of the zoo staff, he prospered and now has "a good chance of survival," according to his keeper Thomas Dörflein. The dedicated Dörflein has slept in the zoo since the birth of the bear in order to provide round-the-clock care to the cub, and feeds Knut milk six times a day with a bottle.
Knut weighed only 810 grams (1.8 pounds) when he was born but now tips the scales at 3.9 kilograms (8.6 pounds). He still has a long way to go though -- adult male polar bears can weigh up to 800 kilograms.
Eager zoo visitors will have to wait to see the zoo's newest addition, however. The stress of being shown to the public would be too much for the little polar bear at the moment, a zoo spokeswoman said.
© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2007
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH